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Chester v. McDaniel

December 29, 1972

CHESTER ET UX, RESPONDENTS,
v.
MCDANIEL ET AL, APPELLANTS



Appeal from Circuit Court, Clackamas County. Dale Jacobs, Judge.

Leo Levenson, Portland, argued the cause and filed a brief for appellants.

Roger L. Meyer of Sabin, Newcomb, Sabin & Meyer, Portland, argued the cause and filed a brief for respondents.

In Banc. McAllister, J.

Mcallister

Plaintiffs brought this action to recover damages for fraud perpetrated by defendants in the sale to plaintiffs of one-half the shares of stock in a grocery store owned by defendants. The jury awarded plaintiffs $15,000 compensatory damages and $30,000 punitive damages. The court awarded plaintiffs an additional

$6,500 as attorneys' fees. Defendants appeal. We affirm.

We are concerned with the facts only as a background. The defendants are husband and wife. Their grocery store was incorporated as Shop-Rite Market, Inc., and all of the shares of stock were held by the wife. The land was owned by the husband and leased to the corporation. In September 1969 the defendants advertised for a purchaser of an interest in the market. The plaintiffs, also husband and wife, responded to the ad and were induced to buy one-half of the common stock of Shop-Rite Market, Inc., for $25,000, of which $15,000 was paid down. The plaintiffs soon discovered that they had been defrauded and brought this action. The evidence amply supports the verdict for both compensatory and punitive damages and we are bound by the verdict of the jury.

The voluminous transcript of the trial contains only one ruling requested by defendants in a form sufficient to support an assignment of error. When plaintiffs rested their case the defendants made the following motion:

"I will further move that there be a directed verdict of non-suit in favor of the defendants and each of them on the basis that our affirmative defense of ratification has been proven as a matter of law."

We will assume that defendants intended to move for a nonsuit on the ground that it affirmatively appeared from plaintiffs' evidence that defendants' "defense of ratification" had been proved as a matter of law.

There is no merit to this assignment of error. The law is well settled that a defrauded purchaser upon discovery of the ...


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