American Express Co. v. Lopez

72 Misc. 2d 648 (1973)

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American Express Co. v. Lopez

New York City Civil Court
72 Misc. 2d 648 (1973)

Facts

Manny Lopez (defendant) served as the chairman of the board of directors of Uniworld Group, Inc. (Uniworld) (defendant), though he did not also serve as Uniworld’s chief executive officer. Lopez obtained a credit card from American Express Co. (American Express) (plaintiff) in Uniworld’s name and made purchases with the credit card. American Express sued Lopez and Uniworld for damages related to Lopez’s purchases with the credit card. The parties submitted an agreed statement of facts for the trial court to determine a matter of first impression regarding whether a chairman of a corporation’s board of directors who was not the corporation’s chief executive officer had the apparent authority to obtain a credit card in the corporation’s name and pledge the corporation’s credit. Uniworld argued that Lopez lacked the apparent authority to do so because his apparent authority as chairman was limited to conducting the meetings of the board of directors. Uniworld did not present any evidence to show that American Express should have known that the purchases made by Lopez lacked a corporate purpose.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lane, J.)

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