Friday, November 22, 2013

Atlantic Salmon A/S v. Curran case brief

Atlantic Salmon A/S v. Curran case brief summary
591 N.E.2d 206 (1992)

Plaintiff exporters sought review of a judgment from the Superior Court (Massachusetts) in favor of defendant purchaser in the exporters' action to recover the debt incurred by the purchaser.

The purchaser dealt with two exporters as a representative of a seafood exchange company. The purchaser used the designation "treasurer" on his checks and gave the exporters business cards that identified him as the marketing director of the seafood exchange company. At all relevant times, no such company existed. At trial, the purchaser alleged that he was acting as an agent of another company when he incurred the debt that the exporters sought to recover from him individually. That other company had filed a certificate with the city that it was doing business in the name of the seafood exchange company. The trial court entered judgment in favor of the purchaser.


  • On appeal, the court reversed. 
  • The court held that it was not sufficient that the exporters might have had the means, through a search of the records of the city clerk, to determine the identity of the purchaser's principal. 
  • Actual knowledge was the test. 
  • It was the purchaser's duty, if he wanted to avoid personal liability, to disclose his agency. 
  • The purchaser's use of trade names or fictitious names was not a sufficient identification of the alleged principal so as to protect him from personal liability.
The judgment in favor of the purchaser was reversed and new judgments were entered against the purchaser in favor of the exporters, both with appropriate interest and costs.

Recommended Supplements for Corporations and Business Associations Law

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