Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Progress printing corp. v. Jane Byrne Political Committee case brief summary
Progress printing corp. v. Jane Byrne Political Committee - extent of authority
i. Facts: mayoral candidate gave publication work to Progress, received orders from a a campaign employee, but anyone was able to issue publication orders; candidate did not read or approve of bills, Progress sues for unpaid bills
ii. Issue: who had the duty to ascertain the scope of authority of the submitter of orders?
iii. Holding: 2 theories of relief: apparent authority; and restitution/ratification
a. Appearance of authority, P estopped from denying detriment to 3d party
1. Defense argues duty of diligence to investigate extent of Pitz's authority, only griffin was given express authority, Byrne did not tell him anyone else had authority: pitz was not an agent for this task, griffin was
2. Concurrent duties of diligence: duty to confirm authorization; principal has duty to supervise employee's placement of orders
3. Printers belief that agent was authorized became reasonable when the P reimbursed the printer for the orders; w/out notice that agent did not have authority so to act, printer had not duty to verify authorization for subsequent orders of a similar nature
b. Ratification: Progress' duty of diligence was reduced when Byrn paid for orders placed by Pitz, reasonable impression that they had apparent authority
1. Burden shifts to D to monitor employees: P was in the best position to catch unauthorized orders by reviewing statements but did not do so
2. Ratification is the equivalent of authorization: when a P gains knowledge of an unauthorized transaction but then retains the benefits or otherwise takes a position inconsistent w/ nonaffirmation
3. Inferred from surrounding circumstances: long term acquiescence, after notice, to the benefits of the unauthorized transaction
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