Frank Cooper Associates

Not overruled or negatively treated on appealinfoCoverage
Court of Appeals of the State of New YorkJul 10, 1964
14 N.Y.2d 913 (N.Y. 1964)
14 N.Y.2d 913200 N.E.2d 860252 N.Y.S.2d 318

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Summaries written by judges


  • finding an implied-in-fact contract for the reasonable value of plaintiff's idea for a television program format where the parties had failed to reduce their agreement to writing

    Summary of this case from Nadel v. Play-By-Play Toys Novelties

Argued June 3, 1964

Decided July 10, 1964

Appeal from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the First Judicial Department, VINCENT A. LUPIANO, J.

Joseph Calderon and William Baronoff for appellant.

Carleton G. Eldridge, Jr., and Gordon T. King for respondents.

Since we find that the Trial Judge submitted a single issue to the jury, viz.: whether there was a contract implied in fact, the proper measure of damages is reasonable value.

In this case the parties negotiated for the conveyance of the plaintiff's property and failed to agree upon the terms. Since the property was thereafter taken and made valueless for its owner, the law imposes an obligation to pay its reasonable value where the parties dealt with each other in the context of an intention of payment for its use. ( Healey v. Macy Co. 251 App. Div. 440, affd. 277 N.Y. 681; La Varre v. Warner Bros. Pictures, 282 N.Y. 68; cf. Grombach Prods. v. Waring, 293 N.Y. 609; see Desny v. Wilder, 46 Cal.2d 715.)

Opinion evidence of the value of the property was properly admitted. ( Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp., 106 F.2d 45, affd. 309 U.S. 390; Duane Jones Co. v. Burke, 306 N.Y. 172, 192; Stanley v. Columbia Broadcasting System, 35 Cal.2d 653; see, also, Grombach Prods. v. Waring, 267 App. Div. 986, revd. on other grounds 293 N.Y. 609, supra.)

Taken together with the evidence put in by the defendants, the opinion evidence which is consistent with the testimony adduced by the defendant is sufficient to support the verdict. We find no reversible error in the court's charge.

The order of the Appellate Division should be reversed and the judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County, reinstated, with costs in this court and in the Appellate Division.

Chief Judge DESMOND and Judges DYE, FULD, VAN VOORHIS, BURKE and SCILEPPI concur; Judge BERGAN taking no part.

Order reversed, etc.