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North Portland Lumber Co. v. G.L. Pine Co.

June 1, 1973

NORTH PORTLAND LUMBER COMPANY, RESPONDENT,
v.
G.L. PINE CO., INC., APPELLANT



Appeal from Circuit Court, Grant County. J. R. Campbell, Judge.

Thomas M. Mosgrove, John Day, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the briefs were Yokom & Mosgrove, John Day.

Wendell Gronso, Burns, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Claud Ingram and Ingram & Schmauder, John Day, and A. Duane Pinkerton, II, and Cramer, Gronso & Pinkerton, Burns.

In Banc. Tongue, J.

Tongue

This is an action for damages for conversion. Defendant appeals from an adverse judgment based upon a jury verdict for $5,000 general damages and $5,000 punitive damages. We affirm.

Plaintiff conducted a resawing operation at defendant's mill and alleged in its complaint that defendant converted various items of equipment belonging

to plaintiff, as well as 100,000 feet of "stickers" belonging to plaintiff.

Defendant's first assignment of error is that the trial court erred in sustaining plaintiff's objections to a financial statement offered by defendant. Defendant contends that because, in an action for punitive damages, the plaintiff can offer evidence that defendant is wealthy, it follows that defendant can also offer evidence to show that it is not wealthy. Plaintiff contends, on the other hand, that unless and until it has offered evidence that a defendant is wealthy (which it did not do), the defendant is not entitled to offer evidence that it is not wealthy.

The cases are not in agreement on this question.*fn1 We need not decide the question in this case, however, because plaintiff also objected to the financial statement on the ground that it was a copy and on the further ground that it was a profit and loss statement and was not a balance sheet. Thus, although the statement showed net earnings for the current period, it did not show defendant's net worth. Those objections were well taken.

It is well established that a trial court will not be reversed for sustaining an objection to evidence because one ground for objection may not be well taken, even if the trial court relied upon that ground in sustaining the objection, if objection was also made upon other grounds which were well taken. Indeed, even if an objection is no more than a general objection and is sustained, the trial court will not ordinarily be reversed if any valid ground existed for the exclusion

of such evidence. McCormick on Evidence (2d ed ...


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