Comtrol, Inc. v. Mountain States Tel. & Tel. Co.

Decision Date10 July 1973
Docket NumberNo. 72--283,72--283
PartiesCOMTROL, INC., a corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MOUNTAIN STATES TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY, a corporation, and Charles Marshall, Defendants-Appellees. . I
CourtColorado Court of Appeals

Dawson, Nagel, Sherman & Howard, Charles R. Frederickson, Christopher Lane, Denver, for plaintiff-appellant.

J. Cotton Howell, Denver, for defendants-appellees.

COYTE, Judge.

Plaintiff, an independent consulting firm, on August 5, 1971, entered into a written contract to conduct a survey of the communications system of Beth Israel Hospital for an agreed price. Defendant Charles Marshall is a communications consultant employed by Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company (Mountain Bell) and was in charge of supervising service to the hospital and several other institutions. Upon learning that there had been a contact between plaintiff and the hospital, defendant Marshall went to the hospital and discussed Mountain Bell's survey facilities and policy and offered to conduct a survey which would be without cost to the hospital. After he had been informed that the hospital had signed a contract for such survey with plaintiff, he again offered to perform a survey for the hospital at no cost to it. The hospital subsequently advised plaintiff that it had accepted defendants' offer to conduct a survey and would not need the services of plaintiff.

Plaintiff then filed suit against defendants alleging that they had induced the hospital to breach its contract with plaintiff. Defendants generally denied that they had induced the breach. On motion of defendants at the conclusion of plaintiff's presentation of evidence to a jury, the trial court dismissed plaintiff's complaint and entered judgment in favor of defendants. Plaintiff appeals contending that it was error for the trial court to dismiss its complaint. We agree and reverse.

I.

Defendants contend that this court is without jurisdiction to review this case for the reason that plaintiff's notice of appeal stated that it was appealing from the order directing a verdict in favor of defendants and that this order is not a final judgment nor an appealable order.

A similar error made by counsel for plaintiff is involved in State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Palmer, 350 U.S. 944, 76 S.Ct. 321, 100 L.Ed. 823, reversing, 9 Cir., 225 F.2d 876. Following entry of judgment in the trial court in that case, Palmer moved for a new trial and to amend findings. His motion was denied. He filed a notice of appeal from the order denying the Motion, identifying it by date. The court of appeals dismissed the appeal, holding that the order from which the appeal was taken was nonappealable and that the notice of appeal was ineffective to bring the judgment on the merits before it for review because it did not specify that judgment. The Supreme Court summarily reversed.

It is apparent that plaintiff intended to appeal from the judgment entered dismissing its complaint. The error in the notice of appeal is harmless, and this court does have jurisdiction to review this case on appeal.

II.

A motion for a directed verdict in a jury trial admits the truth of the adversary's evidence and of every favorable inference of fact which may legitimately be drawn therefrom. Panion v. Crichton, 144 Colo. 170, 355 P.2d 938. Such a motion should not be granted unless the evidence, considered under this standard, compels the conclusion that reasonable men could not disagree and that no evidence or inference had been received at trial upon which a verdict against the moving party could be sustained. Schaffner v. Smith, 158 Colo. 387, 407 P.2d 23; Nettrour v. J. C. Penney Co., 146 Colo. 150, 360 P.2d 964.

There are five specific elements involved in the tort of intentionally...

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31 cases
  • Texas West Oil and Gas Corp. v. Fitzgerald, s. 86-9
    • United States
    • Wyoming Supreme Court
    • 21 d2 Outubro d2 1986
    ...710, 729 (D.S.C.1984), aff'd 792 F.2d 416 (4th Cir.1986). The Colorado rule is similar. Comtrol, Inc. v. Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company, 32 Colo.App. 384, 513 P.2d 1082 (1973). The Missouri rule is stated differently: "(1) A contract or a valid business relationship or expe......
  • Trimble v. City and County of Denver
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • 11 d1 Março d1 1985
    ...person to perform the contract. 690 P.2d at 210 (emphasis added in Memorial Gardens ). See Comtrol, Inc. v. Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Co., 32 Colo.App. 384, 513 P.2d 1082 (1973). Kauvar asserts that the City was not a "third person" with respect to him. Kauvar and the City were ......
  • In re S & D Foods, Inc., Bankruptcy No. 89 B 06041 J
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Tenth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Colorado
    • 7 d5 Agosto d5 1992
    ...by the defendant that induces a breach of contract; and, (5) damages to the plaintiff. Control, Inc. v. Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company, 32 Colo. App. 384, 513 P.2d 1082, 1084 (1973). See also, Restatement of Torts, Second, § 766; Memorial Gardens, Inc. v. Olympian Sales and......
  • Rodriquez v. Bar-S Food Co.
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    ...and fraud. I will consider each claim separately. A. TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE WITH CONTRACT In Comtrol, Inc. v. Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Co., 32 Colo.App. 384, 513 P.2d 1082, 1084 (1973), the court listed the elements of the tort of intentionally inducing a breach of (1) existen......
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3 books & journal articles
  • CHAPTER 12 POST-TRIAL PROCEDURE AND APPEAL
    • United States
    • FNREL - Special Institute Natural Resources and Environmental Litigation (FNREL)
    • Invalid date
    ...a matter of law, or that no genuine issue of material fact exists. In Control, Inc. v. Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company, 32 Colo. App. 384, 513 P.2d 1082, 1084 (1973), the court stated that a motion for a directed verdict should not be granted unless the court concludes that ......
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    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Lawyer No. 45-7, July 2016
    • Invalid date
    ...(Second) of Torts at § 766 cmt. c (1979) (hereinafter Restatement (Second)). [5] Comtrol, Inc. v. Mountain States Tel. & Tel. Co., 513 P.2d 1082, 1084 (Colo.App. 1973); Carman v. Heber, 601 P.2d 646, 647 (Colo.App. 1979) (“intentionally inducing a breach of contract”); Baker v. Carpenter, 5......
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    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Lawyer No. 30-8, August 2001
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    ...Inc. v. Crump Warren & Sommer, Inc., 8831 P.2d 908, 912 (Colo.App. 1991); Comtrol, Inc. v. Mountain States Tel. and Telegraph Co., 513 P.2d 1082, 1084 (Colo.App. These cases appear to be inconsistent with the decisions in Westfield Dev. Co. v. Rifle Inv. Assocs., 786 P.2d 1112, 1118 (Colo. ......

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