Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hoddeson v. Koos Bros. case brief

Hoddeson v. Koos Bros. case brief summary
135 A.2d 702 (1957)

Defendant company appealed the judgment of the Union County District Court (New Jersey), which awarded plaintiff purchaser reimbursement of money paid to her for furniture which she did not receive. Defendant contended on appeal that the clerk who assisted plaintiff was an imposter, and not a salesman of defendant.

Plaintiff purchaser bought furniture from defendant company, but failed to get a receipt for the cash payment she made for the items. After the assured date of delivery elapsed, she contacted defendant as to the whereabouts of her furniture. Defendant's records failed to disclose any such sale to plaintiff nor any payment made by her, and plaintiff was unable to identify the clerk who assisted her from defendant's salesmen. Defendant contended that the person who served plaintiff was an imposter deceitfully impersonating a salesman of defendant without its knowledge. Plaintiff brought suit to recover the amount paid by her for the furniture, and obtained a judgment against defendant in reimbursement for her cash expenditure.


  • Defendant appealed contending that a reversal of the judgment was necessary as there was a deficit of evidence to support the conclusion that a relationship of master and servant existed between defendant and the man who served and received the money from plaintiff. 
  • The court reversed and allowed a new trial concluding that plaintiff should be entitled to reconstruct her complaint as the inadequacy of the evidence to prove agency required reversal.

The judgment was reversed and a new trial was allowed because though the court believed plaintiff purchaser, she prosecuted an action in assumpsit alleging a privity of contract with defendant company through the relationship of agency between defendant and the salesman who helped plaintiff. Since there was inadequate evidence to prove agency, the court was obligated to reverse.

Recommended Supplements for Corporations and Business Associations Law

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