Munsey v. Butterfield

Decision Date20 October 1882
Citation133 Mass. 492
PartiesHenry E. Munsey v. Charles H. Butterfield
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

Middlesex. Contract for breach of an agreement in writing, dated February 24, 1880, by the terms of which the plaintiff agreed to sell for $ 2000, and the defendant agreed to purchase certain articles of personal property used in the milk business, "also the good will of said Munsey's milk route lying in West Somerville, East Somerville, North Somerville and Charlestown," possession to be delivered on April 1, 1880.

At the trial in the Superior Court, before Wilkinson, J., the plaintiff introduced evidence tending to prove the execution and delivery of the contract by the parties; and that, on April 1, 1880, the plaintiff left with a person at the house where the defendant lived a bill of sale of the property. The plaintiff testified that, a few minutes after he so left the bill of sale, he met the defendant a short distance from the house and told him that he had left the bill of sale at the house for him, and demanded the payment of the money according to the agreement; that the defendant then told him he should not take the property and that he should back out and that the defendant had not taken the property or paid anything.

On cross-examination, the plaintiff testified that he sold the defendant the personal property and the good will of his milk route; that the good will was the main part of the value in the trade; that the personal property was worth from $ 800 to $ 1000; that, soon after the contract with the defendant was executed, the plaintiff bargained with one Wellington to purchase Wellington's milk route, intending to run the same after the defendant took his, which route ran over a portion of the same territory in Charlestown and Somerville as the route which he sold to the defendant; that he was not to disturb any of the customers of the route sold to the defendant, but that he considered that he had a right to obtain for himself new customers on the same location; that on March 12, 1880, he applied to the defendant for money, and told him that he wanted it to pay Wellington for his milk route, and told the defendant that he had bargained for said route, and also told him that he could not hold the customers in Charlestown unless he got there early in the morning.

Upon this evidence, the defendant asked the judge to rule that the plaintiff could not maintain his action. The judge so ruled and directed a verdict for the defendant; and the plaintiff alleged exceptions.

Exceptions overruled.

O. B Mowry, for the plaintiff.

R. Lund & E. A. Upton, for the defendant.

OPINION

W. Allen, J.

By the agreement between the parties, made on February 24, 1880, the defendant agreed to accept and pay for certain personal property, to be delivered to him by the plaintiff on the first day of the next April. This action is brought to recover damages for the refusal of the defendant to accept the property. To maintain it, the plaintiff must prove that he offered, or was ready, to deliver the property. A material part of the property to be delivered was, as stated in the agreement, "The good will of said Munsey's milk route lying in West Somerville, East Somerville, North Somerville and Charlestown." This contract, called a sale of the good will of Munsey's milk route, was really like the sale of the good will of any business, an agreement by ...

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27 cases
  • Rossing v. State Bank of Bode
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • November 28, 1917
    ...Eq. 322; Cottrell v. Co., 54 Conn. 122, 6 Atl. 791; Churton v. Douglas, Johns. Eng. Ch. 174; Dwight v. Hamilton, 113 Mass. 175;Munsey v. Butterfield, 133 Mass. 492;French v. Parker, 16 R. I. 219, 14 Atl. at 873, 27 Am. St. Rep. 733;Rice v. Angell, 73 Tex. 350, 11 S. W. 338, 3 L. R. A. 769;B......
  • Rossing v. State Bank of Bode
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • November 28, 1917
    ...v. Babcock Printing Press Co., (Conn.) 6 A. 791; Churton v. Douglas, Johns. Eng. Ch. 174; Dwight v. Hamilton, 113 Mass. 175; Munsey v. Butterfield, 133 Mass. 492; French v. Parker, (R. I.) 14 A. 870, at 873; Rice v. Angell, (Texas) 11 S.W. 338; Brown v. Benzinger, (Md.) 84 A. 79; Howard v. ......
  • Johnston v. Rothwell, 2045
    • United States
    • Wyoming Supreme Court
    • February 14, 1939
    ... ... Paris Gaslight & Coke Co. (Ill.) ... 40 N.E. 1032; Clark v. Gulesian, 84 N.E. 94; ... Dishman v. Huetter, 41 Wash. 626; Munsey v ... Butterfield, 133 Mass. 492; Lake Shore R. Co. v ... Richards, 40 Ill.App. 560; Lake Shore Co. v ... Richards (Ill.) 32 N.E. 402 ... ...
  • Slate Co. v. Bikash
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • November 14, 1961
    ...as one to refrain from using 'the opportunities and influences which had built * * * [the business] up to impair it.' See Munsey v. Butterfield, 133 Mass. 492, 494-495; Martino v. Pontone, 270 Mass. 158, 160-161, 170 N.E. 67. See also Rosenberg v. Adelson, 234 Mass. 488, 490, 125 N.E. 632; ......
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