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DOYLE v. MCCLURKIN (07/01/58)

July 1, 1958

DOYLE
v.
MCCLURKIN, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 10, May T., 1958, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, No. 2712, Equity Docket, in case of Walter T. Doyle v. Charles C. McClurkin et al. Decree affirmed; reargument refused July 31, 1958.

COUNSEL

John B. Pearson, with him G. Thomas Miller, and Bailey & Rupp, for appellant.

Joseph F. McVeigh, with him Heath L. Allen, and Myers, McVeigh and Mansfield, and Hull, Leiby and Metzger, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Cohen

[ 393 Pa. Page 445]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN

Did plaintiff's falsification of certain weekly business reports submitted to the defendant in accordance with the terms of their sales agency contract relieve the defendant of liability to account for commissions due the plaintiff under the agreement?

The legally significant facts for this appeal may be briefly stated.

In 1951 plaintiff, who was engaged in sales promotion, entered into an exclusive wholesale sales agency contract with defendant, a manufacturer, for the distribution of the latter's automotive product. By the terms of the contract plaintiff was required to employ two "missionary men" trained in selling and promoting the sale of defendant's product, and to undertake a program of "missionary work." When jobbers affiliated with the plaintiff had received shipments of defendant's merchandise, the missionary men were to accompany the jobbers on calls to their retail customers for the purpose of explaining and demonstrating the product. The employment of missionary men and the doing of missionary work was one of plaintiff's most important duties under the contract, and he was required to submit detailed reports on the missionary work done each week.

The contract contained specific grounds for its termination by either party and provided that: "In the event that this contract is terminated by either side excepting for fraud, deception and misrepresentation, deceit, etc. ... [defendant] agrees to pay ... [plaintiff] 10 percent of each month's billing of all accounts

[ 393 Pa. Page 446]

    that he had acquired for one year, excepting the last year of his contract."

In 1953 defendant terminated the agreement for four of the causes specified therein: (1) plaintiff had failed to use his best efforts to create a demand for defendant's product; (2) plaintiff had failed to fulfill his sales quota; (3) plaintiff had made certain sales outside of his assigned territory; (4) plaintiff had failed to employ two missionary men. Plaintiff then demanded his commission of ten percent of all of defendant's billings for the following year to ...


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