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Germantown Mfg. Co. v. Rawlinson

Pennsylvania Superior Court
491 A.2d 138 (1985)


Facts

Robert Rawlinson (defendant) was fired from The Germantown Manufacturing Company (Germantown) (plaintiff) for embezzling $327,011.22. Rawlinson told his wife, Joan (defendant), that he had taken about $20,000 from the company. A Germantown representative visited the Rawlinsons’ home and had them sign two judgment notes, consenting to the entry of judgments against them. The first note was for $160,000. The representative told the Rawlinsons that, since they had $160,000 readily available, the judgment was effectively already satisfied. The second note was for an amount established by an affidavit from the president of Germantown. The affidavit was not presented to the Rawlinsons. Germantown’s representative told the Rawlinsons that Germantown had no interest in pursuing criminal prosecution if the Rawlinsons cooperated. Later, the president of Germantown completed his affidavit, showing a total amount owed on the second note of $212,113.21, which included over $45,000 in interest. The lower court allowed Joan’s judgment on the second note to be reopened on the grounds of fraud, misrepresentation, duress, and lack of accountability for the amount included in the second note. Germantown appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Cavanaugh, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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