Farnham v. Akron Tire Co.

Decision Date15 October 1917
Docket Number14120.
Citation167 P. 1081,98 Wash. 484
PartiesFARNHAM v. AKRON TIRE CO. et al.
CourtWashington Supreme Court

Department 1. Appeal from Superior Court, Spokane County; Henry L Kennan, Judge.

Action by G. L. Farnham against the Akron Tire Company and Thomas Joyce. From a judgment for plaintiff, the first-named defendant appeals. Remanded, with directions.

E. H Belden, of Spokane, for appellant.

Glen V Farnham and A. G. Starkey, both of Spokane, for respondent.

MAIN J.

The purpose of this action was to recover damages claimed to have been sustained by the plaintiff by reason of the purchase from the defendant of a quantity of automobile tires. The cause was tried to the court without a jury, and resulted in a judgment in favor of the plaintiff in the sum of $3,834.56, from which the defendant appeals.

The facts are these: The appellant is a corporation organized under the laws of the state of New York, with offices at 1989 Broadway, in New York City. This corporation is engaged in the business of rebuilding and selling automobile tires. On February 29, 1916, appellant contracted with one E. P. Janes to sell him a certain number of automobile tires per month, during the life of the contract--Janes to act as a jobber. On March 17, 1916, Janes contracted with one Thomas Joyce, a resident of Spokane, to act as jobber for the Akron tires in the state of Washington. On the 7th day of April, 1916, Joyce, by written contract, sold to the respondent a quantity of Akron tires and received at the time 25 per cent. of the purchase price, or $750. The respondent did not know of the contract between the Akron Tire Company and Janes, nor of the contract between the latter and Joyce. He ordered the tires as he thought from the Akron Tire Company, the appellant. Joyce transmitted the order to Janes, or to the Akron Tire Company, and after it was received the Akron Tire Company took from its shelves tires and shipped them direct to the respondent. The bill of lading was sent by the tire company to the Exchange National Bank of Spokane with a draft in the sum of $2,250 attached. The respondent paid the draft and $315 freight, caused the tires to be removed to his storeroom from the car in which they were shipped, opened them, and discovered that they were practically worthless. He refused to put them on sale, and immediately took the matter up with Joyce, who communicated by wire and letter either with Janes or the tire company. Joyce caused the tires to be taken from the storeroom of the respondent and placed in the hands of a third party for sale, with instructions to sell them for the best price obtainable. When sold, the total lot, for which the respondent had paid $3,000, brought approximately $1,000 gross, and, after deducting the cost of sale, netted $687.40. Before these tires were received, and on April 28, 1916, the respondent made another contract with Joyce, whereby he was to purchase $2,824.75 worth of Akron tires and pay to Joyce 25 per cent. of this amount, or $706.19. After the respondent had refused the first lot of tires, the second order was either canceled, or, if in transit, the goods were recalled without an attempt to deliver them. The action was brought for the damage which the respondent claimed to have sustained by reason of the two transactions.

The controlling question in the case is whether Joyce was in fact the agent of the Akron Tire Company, or, to state it otherwise, whether Janes was a mere figurehead acting in the capacity of a broker for the purpose of shielding the tire company from claims for damages from customers to whom its worthless products had been sold. The trial court sustained the claim of agency, and repudiated the thought that Janes was an independent jobber. It is admitted that Joyce was the agent of Janes. The officers of the Akron Tire Company, and also Janes, testified by depositions, and, if effect is to be given their mere words, Janes was an independent jobber. As against these mere words are certain acts, some of which will be noticed. Janes was financially irresponsible. He had desk room, or office room, in the offices of the Akron Tire Company, with only a railing between the portion of the office used by him and that portion occupied by the tire company. The tires were shipped by the Akron Tire Company direct to Farnham, the respondent and did not pass through the hands of Janes. No part of the $2,250, the amount of...

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3 cases
  • Gerbing v. McDonald
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • March 4, 1930
    ...v. N. P. R. Co., 98 Wash. 390, 167 P. 1078;Goodson v. New York City R. Co. (Sup.) 94 N. Y. S. 10. It is held in Farnham v. Akron Tire Co., 98 Wash. 484, 167 P. 1081, and Clarke v. Westcott, 2 App. Div. 503, 37 N. Y. S. 1111, that such evidence is insufficient, but, in absence of objection t......
  • Whitson v. Pacific Nash Motor Co.
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • May 26, 1923
    ... ... Morton Under ... the terms of the contract, Exhibit "A." (Farnum v ... Akron Tyre Co., 98 Wash. 484, 167 P. 1081.) ... "It ... is said that an agency within the ... ...
  • Marney v. Industrial Ins. Dept.
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • October 15, 1917

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