Graybar Electric Co., Inc. v. Sawyer

485 A.2d 1384 (1985)

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Graybar Electric Co., Inc. v. Sawyer

Maine Supreme Judicial Court
485 A.2d 1384 (1985)

Facts

Hollis Sawyer (defendant) was an investor in Pine Tree Electric Company, Inc. (Pine Tree). Prior to Sawyer’s investment, Pine Tree had had issues paying its supplier, Graybar Electric Company, Inc. (Graybar) (plaintiff). Sawyer met with Graybar to reestablish a good business relationship. Testimony at trial indicated that Sawyer told Graybar representatives that if Pine Tree did not pay its account going forward, Sawyer would pay it. Testimony at trial also indicated that less than a week after this meeting, Graybar sent Sawyer a letter memorializing the discussions at the meeting, including Sawyer’s personal guarantee on the account. Sawyer did not respond to this letter. After this meeting, Graybar again being supplying Pine Tree on credit, including a $30,000 telephone switch. Pine Tree did not pay for the switch and ultimately went out of business. Graybar sued Sawyer personally for the unpaid amounts on Pine Tree’s account. The trial court permitted Graybar to introduce Graybar’s post-meeting letter to Sawyer. The jury ruled in favor of Graybar. Sawyer appealed, arguing that the letter should not have been admitted because it was hearsay.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McKusick, C.J.)

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