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KEY BANK v. CRAWFORD

January 23, 1985

KEY BANK, Formerly Bankers Trust Company of Western New York
v.
STUART L. CRAWFORD, et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LORD

 Findings of Fact

 2. Key Bank was dismissed as a party to this action on May 21, 1984. Chalfont Industries ("Chalfont") was also an original party, but has submitted no claim in this proceeding.

 3. Defendant Stuart Crawford ("Crawford") is a citizen of the State of New York.

 4. Defendant Kutner Buick is organized under the laws of Pennsylvania and has its principal place of business in Pennsylvania.

 5. Crawford first visited Chalfont in mid-December, 1981.

 6. Between mid-December, 1981 and mid-February, 1982, Crawford frequently contacted employees of Chalfont to discuss the possibility of his entering into a "Distribution Agreement" to sell its product, Stop-A-Flat, in North Carolina.

 7. Between mid-December, 1981 and mid-February, 1982, various employees of Chalfont told Crawford that the company was in sound financial condition, that race car driver Bobby Unser was Chalfont's national spokesperson, that an independent testing laboratory called the National Laboratory for Transportation Safety had tested Chalfont's product, and that the area in which Crawford wished to distribute the product was "virgin territory". Each of these statements was untrue at the time it was made.

 8. In January, 1982, Crawford had his attorney, Martin Idzik, redraft the Distribution Agreement to clarify the "no-risk" buy-back provision which Crawford had discussed with employees of Chalfont.

 9. On February 10, 1982, Crawford took the revised agreement his attorney had drafted to Chalfont's office. While Crawford waited, Chalfont employee Dennis Mason took the agreement Crawford brought with him to Jerome Kutner, president of Chalfont. Mason then returned to Crawford with a document Kutner had signed, opened it to the signature page, and Crawford signed without reading the document although he had ample opportunity to do so. The agreement Crawford and Kutner signed was not the same one Crawford had brought with him and it did not contain a "no-risk" buy-back provision.

 10. On February 10, 1982, Crawford drew a check for $ 42,023.00 payable to Chalfont Industries.

 11. Chalfont endorsed this check over to Kutner Buick, Inc. but Crawford stopped payment on the check.

 12. After further discussions with Jerome Kutner, Crawford instructed his son to send a $ 50,023.00 cashier's check, dated February 17, ...


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