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REVERE PRESS v. BLUMBERG ET AL. (10/03/68)

decided: October 3, 1968.

REVERE PRESS, INC.
v.
BLUMBERG ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeal from order of Superior Court, Oct. T., 1967, No. 141, affirming judgments of Court of Common Pleas No. 6 of Philadelphia County, Sept. T., 1964, No. 3310, in case of Revere Press, Inc. v. Helen R. Blumberg and H.R.B., Inc.

COUNSEL

Herald Price Fahringer, of the New York Bar, with him Charles L. Ford, for appellants.

Frank E. Hahn, Jr., with him Herbert A. Fogel, Robert M. Crooks, and Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Eagen.

Author: Eagen

[ 431 Pa. Page 372]

Revere Press, the plaintiff in this assumpsit action, seeks to recover $7,520 for the printing of dental hygiene literature which was distributed during August of 1964 at the Democratic National Convention held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The defendants are H.R.B., Inc., a nonprofit Pennsylvania corporation organized to raise funds to provide free dental care for the handicapped, and Mrs. Helen R. Blumberg, the president of H.R.B., Inc. After a trial without a jury,

[ 431 Pa. Page 373]

    the trial judge entered a verdict for $5,500 in favor of the plaintiff and against both defendants. Defendants' exceptions were dismissed and a judgment was entered on the verdict. On appeal, the judgment was affirmed by the Superior Court without opinion. An appeal to this Court was then allowed.

The major issue on this appeal is whether or not the judgment against Helen Blumberg is supportable. Our review of the record persuades us that the judgment against Mrs. Blumberg cannot stand.

The parties and the trial court have focused their attention on the question of whether Mrs. Blumberg, by her conduct in arranging for the printing, did or did not incur personal liability under the well established agency law that an authorized agent for a disclosed principal is not liable on a contract between the principal and a third party unless the agent agrees with the third party to be liable,*fn1 while an agent who enters into a contract without authority or without disclosing either that she is acting for a principal or the identity of the principal is personally liable.*fn2

Mrs. Blumberg cannot be held personally liable on any theory which depends upon a finding that she had no authority to contract for this printing on behalf of H.R.B., Inc. In fact, plaintiff never has questioned Mrs. Blumberg's authority to act in this matter for H.R.B., Inc. Plaintiff's efforts to establish H.R.B., Inc.'s liability impliedly accepts Mrs. Blumberg's authority to bind the corporation, for on no other theory could the corporation be held liable. Even if plaintiff did question Mrs. Blumberg's authority, the trial

[ 431 Pa. Page 374]

    court's finding that the corporation is liable confirms that Mrs. Blumberg had authority and that finding ...


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