The opinion of the court was delivered by: GREEN
This is a contract action for goods sold and delivered. However, the action is considerably complicated by the involvement, in the transactions which are the basis of this lawsuit, of another company, which originally received the purchase order for goods sold and delivered and the factor of this latter company.
Plaintiff, American East India Corporation (American), delivered goods to the defendant, Ideal Shoe Company (Ideal), and defendant paid the monies due, minus a deduction for estimated damaged and/or inferior goods, to a third-party factor, Commercial Trading Corporation (Commercial). Commercial was the factor for a fourth party, Walker Trading Corporation (Walker), which had originally received purchase orders for goods, identical to those delivered to the defendant by plaintiff.
We hold that American is entitled to judgment against Ideal for the invoice price, diminished by a subsequently specified amount, consisting of a charge back for damaged and/or inferior goods and an amount representing damages for conversion of the contract right in issue, comprised of the purchase orders referred to above.
The parties and other characters to the drama are as follows.
Plaintiff, American, is incorporated in the State of New York and has its principal office in New York City. Its president, at all times material hereto, was and is Eugene Connelly, who has been in the export-import business since 1938, except for a four and one-half year hiatus from 1940 to 1945, while he was in the Quartermaster Department of the United States Army. Mr. William Fleming was an administrative assistant to Connelly from 1963 to 1970 when he left American. Mr. Henry Baccash was, at the relevant times involved, the controller of American and is now its vice-president. Allan Fudell, another American officer, was the only person at American, other than Connelly, with signing power for the corporation.
Defendant, Ideal is a corporation organized under Pennsylvania Law, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Food Fair Stores, Inc., with its principal office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Walker was formed in 1964 and was in the business of importing footwear from the Far East. From its inception, Walker was factored by Commercial. William Lynn was the principal in Walker and, during its entire period of operations, Walker was essentially a one-man sales operation. Lynn, himself, had been engaged in the import business prior to 1964 and previously had been the principal in an operation similar to that of Walker. At the time of trial, Lynn was a salesman for a corporation in the import business. Bernard Reicher was the secretary of Walker and, along with Lynn, the owner of Walker. Mr. Patrusky was Walker's accountant. Both Reicher and Patrusky knew people at Commercial and this relationship led Lynn and Walker to Commercial. Reicher had left Walker by approximately the beginning of 1967; Patrusky did not work for Walker from August, 1967 on. Nathan Fisher, a personal friend of Lynn's was instrumental in bringing Walker and American together; although Fisher himself had no formal connection with Walker. Mr. Fisher, at the time of trial, was a buyer in the Far East. He has been in the import business for about 15 years and associated with numerous companies during this time; including pertinently the Woodbine Company.
Commercial is a corporation in the business of commercial financing. Mr. Gerald J. Grossman, an attorney, is vice president, secretary and treasurer of Commercial. Mr. Grossman handled most or all of the transactions between Commercial and Walker and was a member of the committee which followed the Walker account.
Commercial financed Walker continuously from February 19, 1964, when they entered into a financing agreement, until at least July, 1967. Walker ordered goods from overseas manufacturers in the Orient to fulfill orders it had received from domestic corporations. Commercial financed Walker's overseas purchases by taking out letters of credit to cover the manufacturing ...