Seeger v. Odell

115 P.2d 977 (1941)

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Seeger v. Odell

California Supreme Court
115 P.2d 977 (1941)

Facts

Nettie Seeger and her husband (plaintiffs) were an elderly couple who owned a piece of property (the lot) in California. Mary Gibbs (defendant), their mortgagor, foreclosed on the lot. Gibbs wanted to lease the lot to A. J. Odell (defendant) so that Odell could drill the land for oil. Gibbs, Odell, and their attorney, Ben Neblett (defendant) met with the Seegers. Neblett assured the Seegers that he had secured a money judgment against the Seegers and sold the lot to satisfy the judgment. Neblett also assured the Seegers that if the Seegers join in leasing the lot, the Seegers would get a portion of the profits from Odell’s oil drilling—otherwise, they would get nothing. The Seegers believed Neblett, joined in on the lease, made no mortgage payments, and did not exercise redemption. The Seegers later discovered that Neblett had lied and that there was never a judgment on the lot. The Seegers could have discovered this earlier by looking through records pertaining to the lot. The Seegers brought suit against Neblett, Gibbs, Odell, and the alleged purchasers of the lot. The court found in favor of Neblett, Gibbs, Odell, and the purchasers. The Seegers appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Traynor, J.)

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