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Gimbel v. Laird & Co.

Decided: October 29, 1937.

LOUIS S. GIMBEL, JR., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
LAIRD & COMPANY, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



On appeal from the Supreme Court.

For the plaintiff-appellant, George W. C. McCarter.

For the defendant-respondent, Applegate, Stevens, Foster & Reussille.

Brogan

The opinion of the court was delivered by

BROGAN, CHIEF JUSTICE. The plaintiff appeals from a judgment in favor of the defendant. The complaint alleged that at the special instance and request of the defendant, a corporation engaged in the distillation and sale of apple brandy, the plaintiff had performed services "in conjunction with the merchandising, advertising, publicity, sales promotion

and packaging of the defendant's product," and was therefore entitled to the reasonable value of the services rendered.

The defendant contended, at the trial, that the plaintiff's services were rendered with the distinct understanding that they were to be without compensation and that they were incidental to some financing for the defendant which the plaintiff's brokerage firm had undertaken, out of which the plaintiff expected to make a substantial profit.

The grounds of appeal are five in number, the complaint of the first four being that the trial court refused to entertain certain requests to charge offered by the plaintiff, and the fifth being an exception to the charge as given to the jury.

The first request which the appellant says the court erroneously refused to charge is as follows:

"When one performs services for another at such other's request, and no price for such work is agreed on, the law ordinarily implies a promise to pay the reasonable value of the services."

As an abstract proposition of law, this statement is undoubtedly sound. It is asserted by text-writers again and again. 15 Am. & Eng. Encycl. (2 d ed.) 1081. A perusal of the court's charge discloses that this legal proposition was charged not once but twice. Towards the end of the charge the principle is couched in words almost identical with the language of the request. It was not error therefore to refuse to charge instructions covered by ...


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