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Mitchell v. Aldrich

Vermont Supreme Court
163 A.2d 833 (1960)


Facts

Mitchell (plaintiff) agreed to buy cattle from William Comette for $7,800. Mitchell paid Comette a $100 down payment, with $900 to come the next day, and the balance due no later than 10 days thereafter. The Chittenden Trust Company (the bank) (defendant) had a lien on the cattle, and its approval was required before the sale was finalized. The bank had asked Aldrich (defendant) to appraise the cattle. Aldrich was not a bank employee and was not paid to make the appraisal. Upon arriving at the farm, Aldrich told Comette that Mitchell was difficult to deal with and that Comette would have trouble recouping the balance of the payment price. Aldrich also questioned whether the bank would approve the sale to Mitchell. Aldrich then offered $8,100 for the cattle on behalf of Drew, a third party. Aldrich told Comette that the bank would definitely approve the sale to Drew. Comette agreed to sell to Drew, and the bank approved the sale. Mitchell sued the defendants for wrongful interference with contractual relations. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion for a directed verdict. Mitchell appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Holden, J.)

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