Grand Union Tea Co. v. Dodds

CourtSupreme Court of Michigan
Writing for the CourtHOOKER
Citation164 Mich. 50,128 N.W. 1090
Decision Date22 December 1910

164 Mich. 50
128 N.W. 1090


Supreme Court of Michigan.

Dec. 22, 1910.

Appeal from Circuit Court, Wayne County, in Chancery; James O. Murfin, Judge.

Action by the Grand Union Tea Company against Charles Dodds. Judgment for plaintiff, and defendant appeals. Affirmed, with modification of injunction.


[128 N.W. 1090]

Frank C. and O. J. Golden (Clyde I. Webster, of counsel), for appellant.

William G. Fitzpatrick (M. Hubert O'Brien, of counsel), for appellee.


There is but little dispute about the facts in this case. According to the complainant's brief, the complainant is a retailer of teas, etc., in Detroit, and does business by the following method: It is the owner of horses and wagons, and these are put in charge of men selected for the purpose. Each man has a route for each day of the week, and he calls upon patrons once a week, and also obtains new patrons upon these routes, where he can do so. He delivers the goods upon orders taken the preceding week, and takes orders for delivery a week later. These men are expected to collect for the goods when delivered, and on their return from the trip must turn in 80 per cent. of the price of the goods delivered, and return the undelivered. They retain 20 per cent. for their compensation. The orders taken are upon blanks furnished them; the name and address of the purchaser and the description of goods ordered are required to be written thereon. It will be observed that the effect of this method of doing business is the establishment of business routes, which are valuable assets of the business, and the plaintiff claims to be the owner of these and the orders and lists of purchasers, which the drivers make or have, upon the blanks furnished for their use. About October, 1, 1906, defendant engaged with the complainant as such driver, taking the place of one Kramer. He rode with Kramer five days, and at the end of this time Kramer turned over the orders taken to defendant, who was to and did deliver them the following week. Defendant continued with the complainant until May 31, 1909, and on the following day commenced work for a competitor, which did a similar business in the same way. Defendant had contemplated this change for some months, and some days before ceasing work for complainant had agreed with his new employer to make the change and promised to bring the former patrons of his routes with him, so far as he could, and agreed that he would continue to solicit them thereafter. Accordingly, and in furtherance of this plan, he announced to them during the last week of his work for complainant, that he was going to work for another company, and he obtained the consent from many of them to allow him to have the orders filled by his new employer. Before turning over his cards to complainant, on May 31st, he erased all names of customers from the cards and concealed from complainant the names of others by not putting them on the cards....

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25 cases
  • Masser v. London Operating Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • August 23, 1932 equity, where there are special circumstances which require that such costs do not follow the judgment. Grand Union Tea Co. v. Dodds, 164 Mich. 50, 128 N.W. 1090, 31 L. R. A. (N. S.) 260. If the appellees feel themselves aggrieved as to the costs which have been taxed against them by the......
  • Sanitary Farm Dairies, Inc. v. Wolf, 38452
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Minnesota (US)
    • October 13, 1961
    ...covenant, although the court held it would have come to the same conclusion even without the covenant. Grand Union Tea Co. v. Dodds, 164 Mich. 50, 128 N.W. 1090, 31 L.R.A.,N.S., 260, while it affirmed a decree awarding damages against a former employee found guilty of unfair competition in ......
  • Woolley's Laundry, Inc. v. Silva
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • November 29, 1939
    ...Co., Inc. v. Scott, 186 App.Div. 518, 174 N.Y.S. 583;American Cleaners & Dyers v. Foreman, 252 Ill.App. 122;Grand Union Tea Co. v. Dodds, 164 Mich. 50, 128 N.W. 1090, 31 L.R.A.,N.S., 260; Jewel Tea Co. v. Grissom, S.D., 279 N.W. 544. On the other hand, it has been held that where employees,......
  • Kubik, Inc. v. Hull, Docket No. 16489
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • November 6, 1974
    ...Laundry Co. v. Zimmerman, 218 Mich. 211, 214, 187 N.W. 335 (1922), wherein the court stated, citing Grand Union Tea Company v. Dodds, 164 Mich. 50, 128 N.W. 1090 "This Court there recognized the Property right of the employer in his list of customers which had been given to and used by the ......
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