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Southern Stone Co. v. Singer

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
665 F.2d 698 (5th Cir. 1982)


Facts

Southern Stone Company (Southern Stone) (plaintiff) sold limestone rock to S&M Materials Company (S&M). S&M never paid Southern Stone for the limestone rock. Subsequently, S&M went out of business. Prior to S&M closing down, Thomas Moore (defendant), one of S&M’s officers, directors, and shareholders, started his own corporation, TM, Inc. (TM). Moore, through TM, continued to haul and sell lime that Southern Stone had purchased after S&M dissolved. Unable to collect on the money owed from S&M, Southern Stone attempted to seek payment from Moore. About a year after S&M was dissolved, Southern Stone sent Moore a letter stating that Moore had made several statements about his past dealings with S&M. The end of the note requested that Moore respond to the letter if anything in the letter was incorrect. Moore never responded. Southern Stone sued Moore and other officers, directors, and shareholders of the defunct S&M (defendants) in district court for the funds owed from S&M. The letter to Moore was introduced at trial to show that Moore had made an adoptive admission as to the contents of the letter because he failed to respond to the letter. Southern Stone did not introduce evidence showing that any issue in the letter was discussed with Moore in person. Moore testified that at the time he received the letter, he was no longer involved with S&M and thus felt no need to respond. The letter was admitted as an adoptive admission. The jury found against Moore. Moore appealed based on the admission of the letter.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Anderson, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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