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Wilkinson v. Powe

Michigan Supreme Court
1 N.W.2d 539 (1942)


Jay D. Wilkinson (plaintiff) brought suit against Powe (defendant) and Powe’s company, Shamrock Creamery (Shamrock) (defendant) for wrongfully procuring a breach of Wilkinson’s contract with milk farmers. Wilkinson had established two routes for hauling milk from farmers to two creameries, Shamrock and Pontiac. Later, Wilkinson and the farmers memorialized their arrangement by a written agreement. Shortly after the execution of the agreement, Powe informed Wilkinson that he wanted to take over one of the routes and, in exchange, offered Wilkinson the trade-in value of his truck and a position at Shamrock. Wilkinson refused. Subsequently, Powe sent a letter to the farmers doing business with Wilkinson that Shamrock would no longer accept milk if it was delivered by Wilkinson. Eventually, Wilkinson was forced to abandon his milk routes. Afterwards, Shamrock hauled the milk of nearly all farmers formerly under contract with Wilkinson. A jury found for Wilkinson and awarded $4,000 in damages. Thereafter, a new trial was granted and the trial judge entered a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, holding “[t]o find for the plaintiff is a sympathetic attempt to give legal security to one, who, in a precarious position acted unwisely.”

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Bushnell, J.)

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