A.D. Juilliard & Co. v. American Woolen Co.

32 A.2d 800 (1943)

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A.D. Juilliard & Co. v. American Woolen Co.

Rhode Island Supreme Court
32 A.2d 800 (1943)

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Facts

In 1893, Atlantic Mills leased property to Riverside Worsted Mills. The lease, which was to last until 1955, did not restrict its assignment to third parties, nor did it state that any assignee assumed the payment obligations of the assignor for the remainder of the original lease term. The lease was subsequently assigned multiple times. At one point, the lease was assigned to the American Woolen Company (American) (defendant), and in 1939 American assigned it to a third party. None of the assignment agreements stated that the assignee would assume responsibility for paying rent for the remainder of the lease term. In 1941, A.D. Juilliard & Co. (Juilliard) (plaintiff), which was Atlantic Mills’ successor in interest and therefore the present lessor, sued American for unpaid rent covering the period from September 1940 to March 1941. American argued that it was not liable for rent for that period because it was not in possession of the property at that time and had not contracted to be liable for rent for the duration of the lease term. The trial court held in American’s favor, and Juilliard appealed to the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Capotosto, J.)

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