Morris v. Aerojet-General Corp., AEROJET-GENERAL

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Citation183 Cal.App.2d 609,6 Cal.Rptr. 906
Decision Date08 August 1960
Parties, Blue Sky L. Rep. P 70,490 W. A. MORRIS, Plaintiff and Appellant, v.CORPORATION, a corporation, et al., Defendants and Respondents. Civ. 24520.

Page 906

6 Cal.Rptr. 906
183 Cal.App.2d 609, Blue Sky L. Rep. P 70,490
W. A. MORRIS, Plaintiff and Appellant,
AEROJET-GENERAL CORPORATION, a corporation, et al., Defendants and Respondents.
Civ. 24520.
District Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 1, California.
Aug. 8, 1960.
Rehearing Denied Aug. 25, 1960.
Hearing Denied Oct. 5, 1960.

Page 907

[183 Cal.App.2d 611] Milo V. Olson, Los Angeles, and Henry K. Kirkpatrick, Hollywood, for appellant.

Hill, Farrer & Burrill, John J. Wilson, and William S. Scully, Los Angeles, for respondent.

ROBERT H. SCOTT, Justice pro tem.

Plaintiff sued defendant, an Ohio corporation, for alleged breach of contract, asserting that the defendant had employed him to sell certain of its stock and had agreed to pay him for doing so; that he had made the sale but the corporation refused to deliver the stock to the purchaser or to pay him his commission.

At the close of plaintiff's case (which was being tried with a jury) defendant moved for a nonsuit. The court made an order dismissing the jury and dismissing the case. From this order plaintiff appeals.

It was the duty of the trial court in passing upon the motion for nonsuit to give plaintiff's evidence all the value to which it was entitled, indulging every legitimate inference reasonably deducible from the proof in favor of plaintiff, ignoring conflicts in the testimony and disregarding evidence for the defense. Nash v. Wright, 82 Cal.App.2d 467, 470, 186 P.2d 686.

Summarizing evidence presented by plaintiff we find that, when plaintiff called the corporation, its president, Kimball, told plaintiff that it was true that the corporation was contemplating an issue of stock of a total value of five million dollars, being 25,000 shares at $200 a share. Plaintiff told him be would like to handle the placement of it with eastern buyers at a cost not to exceed five per cent but would need defendant's literature. Kimball stated to plaintiff, 'Line up your buyers, I'll send the material.' Defendant sent the printed catalogs or brochures and documents to plaintiff. The latter told Kimball[183 Cal.App.2d 612] he was going to New York and would attempt to close some sales. Kimball said: 'Well, Roger Cortezzi of Auchincloss, Parker and Redpath are doing the same thing. Correlate your efforts with him.'

Page 908

Plaintiff sent the printed material to prospective purchasers in New York and when he arrived there he discussed with them the matter of their purchasing defendant's stock. He was asked for additional printed material which was sent by defendant to plaintiff and forwarded by him to the prospective purchasers.

Plaintiff had telephoned Cortezzi and was told to call him when plaintiff arrived in New York. This conversation was reported to Kimball by plaintiff who also told Kimball that plaintiff had learned that Cortezzi's firm was apparently in the deal and asked Kimball what he should do. Kimball responded: 'Keep the pipelines open,' which plaintiff understood to mean that he was to keep going.

When plaintiff arrived in New York he called Cortezzi but the latter was leaving town and plaintiff was unable to see him. While there plaintiff interviewed various representatives of prospective purchasers.

Upon his return to Los Angeles he telephoned Kimball and at the latter's request went to see him at his office. Kimball told him he had decided to give the deal to the brokerage firms of Auchincloss, Parker and Redpath and to Kidder, Peabody and Company in New York.

Plaintiff testified that he told Kimball: 'That it was a disappointment, and that I could see that $5,000,000 wasn't going to be enough finance for a company that is growing that fast. I said I wouldn't make any trouble over that five that they proposed at that time, but I could see that they were going to need more, and could I have whatever excess over if they went that high.' When...

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5 cases
  • Grant v. Aurora Loan Serv., Inc., Case No. CV 09-08174 MM(CTx)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • September 10, 2010
    ...Magna Development Co. v. Reed, 228 Cal.App.2d 230, 39 Cal.Rptr. 284 (1964) (citations omitted)); Morris v. Aerojet-General Corp., 183 Cal.App.2d 609, 614, 6 Cal.Rptr. 906 (1960) (" 'Usage and custom may be introduced as a instrument of interpretation, but may not be used to create a contrac......
  • Doria v. International Union, Allied Indus. Workers of America, AFL-CIO, AFL-CIO
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • October 3, 1961 support a recovery--if viewed in its most favorable aspect it does not establish a prima facie case. Morris v. Aerojet-General Corp., 183 Cal.App.2d 609, 6 Cal.Rptr. 906; Meadows v. Emett and Chandler, 86 Cal.App.2d 1, 193 P.2d 785. The fact that the evidence is conflicting does not depr......
  • Ammari Elecs. v. Pac. Bell Directory, A126326
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • November 15, 2011
    ...for a meeting of minds of [the] parties as the basis of a contractual relationship." (Morris v. Aerojet-General Corp. (1960) 183 Cal.App.2d 609, 614.) Thus, while industry custom or usage evidence can be used to supply intended but omitted terms or to explain an ambiguity in language used i......
  • Lee v. Helmco, Inc.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • February 5, 1962
    ......397, 400, 14 P.2d [199 Cal.App.2d 838] 768; . Page 425 . Morris v. Aerojet-General Corp., 183 Cal.App.2d 609, 613, 6 Cal.Rptr. 906; 2 ......
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