Appeal from the Judgment of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Bucks County at No. 83-1366-12-1.
William E. Benner, Doylestown, for appellants.
Robert L. White, Langhorne, for appellee.
Wickersham, Wieand and Popovich, JJ.
[ 355 Pa. Super. Page 331]
This is an appeal from the judgment of $19,800.00 entered following a jury trial against the appellants/defendants, Seymour and Bunny Shore. We affirm.
We are asked to review the denial of the appellants' motion for a new trial and/or judgment n.o.v. In doing so, as to the judgment n.o.v. claim, we first must view the evidence, as well as any reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom, in a light most favorable to the verdict-winner. McDevitt v. Terminal Warehouse Co., 304 Pa. Super. 438, 450 A.2d 991 (1982), allocatur denied.
[ 355 Pa. Super. Page 332]
The record reveals that in early April of 1982 Mrs. Shore contacted Mr. Lefcourt, the public relations officer for Bucks County and someone she and her husband had known for some 25 years, to ask him to do what he could to stop an organization from buying a piece of property (known as the Klein Building) and starting a business that would compete with their operation (a flea market known as Super Flea, Inc.). Lefcourt agreed to act on their behalf, but he wanted to be paid a fee for his services. Mrs. Shore stated that her accountant (Arthur M. Pollock) would draft a letter to that effect and mail it to him for his perusal. Such a letter, dated May 12, 1982, was forwarded to Lefcourt and provided, in relevant part:
I have been authorized by my client the "Shores" to offer to you, for them, the following financial arrangements for your services in regard to the . . . [Klein] property.
Should your efforts result in the "Shores" obtaining a lease on the . . . [Klein] property, the "Shores" will pay to you a fee equal to ten percent (10%) of the first year lease rental exclusive of any rent paid for utilities, taxes, insurance or maintenance, etc. over a twelve month period from the date of execution of the lease.
Should you have any questions in regard to this matter, please give me a call.
Prior to receipt of the letter, Lefcourt had completed a meeting with the township manager and secured the address of a New Jersey-based group (counseled by a Mr. November) interested in the property. He also learned that the group had merely made "an inquiry" and not a proposal. Upon communicating these facts to Mrs. Shore, Lefcourt outlined what he intended to do, i.e., he was going to get in touch with the people involved and "discourage them from coming in initially". Additionally, this was ...