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LAZARUS v. GOODMAN (11/12/63)

November 12, 1963

LAZARUS
v.
GOODMAN, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 139, March T., 1963, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Jan. T., 1959, No. 93, in case of Norman Lazarus v. Edward Goodman, Allan Harris and Bernard Hirsch, individually and as co-partners formerly trading and doing business as Harris and Hirsch Agency. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Thomas Lewis Jones, with him White and Jones, for appellant.

Richard S. Crone, with him Crone & Cohen, for appellee.

Before Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Eagen

[ 412 Pa. Page 443]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN

This is an action of assumpsit for breach of a written contract of employment between a partnership, known as Harris and Hirsch Agency, and the plaintiff, Norman Lazarus.

The defendants, Harris and Hirsch, admittedly executed the contract, and were partners in the agency. However, they denied any breach of the contract. The defendant, Goodman, denied being a partner, or having any connection with the company.

At trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against all three defendants. Motions for a new trial and judgment notwithstanding the verdict were overruled. Goodman, alone, appeals from the judgment entered upon the verdict.

[ 412 Pa. Page 444]

The complaint and cause of action against Goodman was based upon the allegations that he was a silent partner in the agency, or at least that the plaintiff was led to believe that this was so, and was induced into entering the contract of employment by statements of Goodman to that effect. In other words, that Goodman was estopped from denying that he was a partner in the company as far as the plaintiff, Lazarus, was concerned.

From the evidence, the jury could have found the following facts:

Lazarus, assistant manager of a Pittsburgh health and accident insurance agency, hired Harris and Hirsch to work for that company. Subsequently, Harris and Hirsch resigned these positions and organized their own agency. They were aided and advised in this project by Goodman, the father-in-law of Hirsch. It was Goodman who contacted the ...


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