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Cooper v. Business Investment Co.

Decided: October 15, 1951.

BENJAMIN COOPER, MIRIAM COOPER & ALBERT H. HOHMANN, TRADING AS WARREN SCREW MACHINE PRODUCTS CO., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
BUSINESS INVESTMENT CO., INC., A CORPORATION OF NEW JERSEY, AND HARRY KOTLER, DEFENDANTS



Colie, J.s.c.

Colie

The plaintiffs, formerly partners trading as Warren Screw Machine Products Co., instituted suit against the defendants on a complaint in six counts as follows:

1. Conversion of machinery and a demand for compensatory damages.

2. Conversion of machinery and a demand for punitive damages.

3. Trespass and a demand for punitive damages.

4. Conversion of certain miscellaneous property and a demand for compensatory damages.

5. Conversion of the same property and a demand for punitive damages.

6. Trespass and a demand for compensatory and punitive damages for the loss of profits on the sale of certain machinery.

The defendants counterclaimed, seeking to recover the cost of removing machinery left by the plaintiffs on the property and the storage charges therefor.

The plaintiffs were in possession of premises at 291 Cleveland Street, Orange, under a lease dated August 6, 1945. The lease was for two years with a three-year renewal option. On May 24, 1946, the defendant, Business Investment Co., Inc., entered into a preliminary agreement with the owner of the property, Esther Rudy, for the purchase of the property, and a contract between Esther Rudy and the defendant company was signed. On the same date, Esther Rudy and the defendant company entered into a lease under which Esther Rudy leased the premises at 291 Cleveland Street, Orange, to the investment company for a term beginning June 3, 1946, and ending November 15, 1946, at a rental of $1,500 per month. The lease contained the following provisions:

"It is understood that the landlord is to deliver to the tenant possession of approximately but not less than 5,000 square feet of the said finished building upon the above premises to be set forth on the sketch annexed herein on June 3rd, 1946, and possession of the entire above described premises on July 3rd, 1946.

It is understood that the lease of the entire premises hereinabove mentioned, is modified by this paragraph and that the rental as a result thereof for the month beginning June 3rd, 1946, and ending July 3rd, 1946, is likewise modified to the extent that the tenant shall pay rent for the said month which shall be proportionate to the amount of space occupied by the tenant ...


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