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UNITED STATES v. SHAPIRO

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


March 10, 1955

UNITED STATES of America
v.
Esther SHAPIRO, individually and trading as Southwark Cooperage Company

The opinion of the court was delivered by: CLARY DISTRICT JUDGE

This is an action by the United States to recover damages from defendant Esther Shapiro, individually and trading as Southwark Cooperage Company. The basis of the complaint is alleged violation of the Defense Production Act of 1950, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, § 2061 et seq., P.L. 774, 81st Cong., Executive Order 10161, 15 F.R. 6105, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, § 2071 note, Economic Stabilization Agency General Order No.2 (16 F.R. 738) and Ceiling Price Regulation 36 (16 F.R. 4451) of the Director of Price Stabilization establishing specific ceiling prices for certain used steel drums, raw and reconditioned, and for services performed in reconditioning such drums. The ceiling price fixed for the sale of the drums involved in the present litigation was $ 4 per drum and the ceiling price for reconditioning was $ 2 drum. From the pleadings and proof I make the following

Findings of Fact

 1. Defendant Esther Shapiro is an individual, trading as Southwark Cooperage Company (hereinafter called Southwark), engaged in the business of purchasing, selling and reconditioning used steel drums, and whose principal place of business is located at Meadow and Wolf Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 2. Tiona Petroleum Company (hereinafter called Tiona) is a corporation engaged in the business of dealing in oil and oil products.

 3. Southwark and Tiona for a period of some fifteen years prior to 1951 had been doing business with each other, during which time Southwark sold Tiona many steel drums on a credit basis.

 4. Some two or three days prior to May 9, 1951, a Mr. Gleeson, purchasing agent for Tiona, called upon Mr. Morris Shapiro, son of the defendant and the general manager of Southwark, at Southwark's place of business, to discuss the purchase of steel drums for use in Tiona's business.

 5. On the first call Mr. Gleeson examined some 2,500 used raw steel drums which Southwark had for sale. Dealing at arm's length, they negotiated for the sale of the drums and reached a tentative price of $ 4.90 per drum. After the preliminary negotiations, Mr. Gleeson called his superiors in Tiona on the telephone from Southwark's office, and after that conversation told Mr. Shapiro that the drums and the price were satisfactory and that he would confirm the oral agreement of sale by written order.

 6. On May 9, 1951, Tiona issued its purchase order for the 2,500 steel drums, which order was mailed by Tiona to Southwark and received by Southwark in due course.

 7. One of the terms of the contract of purchase by Tiona was that Southwark would set aside in sheds No. 1 and No. 2 on Southwark's premises (where they were then stored) the identical steel drums selected by Mr. Gleeson on behalf of Tiona. Southwark made effective delivery of the drums under the oral agreement of sale to Tiona at its own place of business on or about May 7, 1951, and Tiona accepted such delivery under said oral agreement.

 8. On May 9, 1951, some two or three days after the conversations related above, Mr. Gleeson of Tiona called Mr. Shapiro on the telephone and negotiated with Mr. Shapiro for the reconditioning of the steel drums which he had purchased for Tiona a few days previously. A unit price of $ 1.10 per drum was agreed upon and a written confirmation of this transaction was issued by Tiona on May 10, 1951, which confirmation was received by Southwark in due course.

 9. Regulation 36 (16 F.R. 4451) was issued on May 11, 1951, effective May 16, 1951, fixing the ceiling price of used steel drums at $ 4 per drum and a ceiling service price for total reconditioning at $ 2 per drum. 10. Thereafter and on the following dates 2,500 totally reconditioned steel drums were delivered by Southwark to Tiona at its place of business: Date Quantity 5/21/51 167 5/22/51 32 5/24/51 185 5/26/51 164 5/28/51 140 5/29/51 107 5/31/51 164 6/1/51 164 6/7/51 111 6/8/51 30 6/13/51 126 6/15/51 108 6/18/51 47 6/22/51 164 6/25/51 311 6/27/51 185 7/2/51 163 7/6/51 132 Total -- 2,500

19550310

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