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BRUCE LINCOLN-MERCURY, INC. v. UNIVERSAL C.I.T. CR

March 27, 1962

BRUCE LINCOLN-MERCURY, INC., a Pennsylvania corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
UNIVERSAL C.I.T. CREDIT CORPORATION, a Delaware corporation, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GOURLEY

This is an action for damages based upon the alleged abuse and illegal exercise of orderly and legal procedures by the defendant to enforce claims and rights which arose as a result of business relations between the parties.

Upon jury trial verdict was returned in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $ 50,000.00 as actual damages and $ 5,000.00 as punitive damages.

 The matters before the Court are:

 1. Defendant's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict for the following reasons:

 (a) The verdict is contrary to the evidence and against the weight of the evidence.

 (b) The verdict is capricious in that plaintiff offered no proof of compensatory damages.

 (c) No malice was proved upon which the jury could award punitive damages. and/or

 2. Defendant's motion for new trial.

 (a) The Court erred in failing to allow defendant to call Witness Kline as and for cross-examination.

 (b) The Court erred in its instructions to the jury.

 (c) The verdict is against the weight of the evidence and was based on speculation.

 HISTORY

 Plaintiff automobile dealer borrowed, with guarantees of its Directors, the sum of $ 10,000.00 from the defendant as a capital loan and entered into various agreements with the defendant to finance new car purchases from the Ford Motor Company. Defendant agreed to pay plaintiff a percentage of paid out customer contracts and insurance premiums collected from plaintiff's customers after a certain reserve had been created in the hands of the defendant. Commencing April, 1956, numerous transactions occurred both in wholesale financing and retail financing between the plaintiff, its customers and the defendant. In September, 1956, defendant officers, based on suspicion, erroneously concluded that plaintiff, under its floor plan agreement, was selling cars out of trust and that a substantial check drawn by plaintiff and delivered to defendant was worthless by reason of non-sufficient funds to cover it.

 Acting on its wrongful assumption, two of defendant's agents, late on the night of September 19, 1956, called plaintiff's officers to a public restaurant in the area and demanded ...


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