FACTS: The landowner authorized the tenant in common to sell timber to the manufacturer after the tenant in common had conveyed his interest to the creditors. Plaintiffs filed an action of replevin for the hoops that were manufactured from the timber. The jury found for plaintiffs. The court reversed and ordered a new trial.
By manufacturing the hoops, the timber was so far changed in character that its identity was destroyed and it was converted into chattels immensely more valuable than the standing trees. Whether the converted property could be followed into the hands of the manufacturer and reclaimed in its improved condition depended on whether the conversion was made in a good faith belief that the manufacturer had such authority. The manufacturer should have been allowed to present evidence that his license to cut the timber, made by the tenant in common with apparent authority, was never revoked. If the manufacturer succeeded in showing his belief in such authority, he was entitled to a jury instruction that the title to the timber was changed by a substantial change of identity, and that plaintiff's remedy was an action to recover damages for the unintentional trespass.
CONCLUSION: The court reversed the jury's verdict in favor of plaintiffs in their action of replevin for hoops that the manufacturer made from the timber sold by the tenant in common. The court ordered a new trial.
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