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A.a. Erickson Bros., Inc. v. Jenkins

MAY 1, 1963.

A.A. ERICKSON BROS., INC., A CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ROSE E. JENKINS, LASALLE NATIONAL BANK OF CHICAGO AS TRUSTEE UNDER TRUST NO. 19428, AND CHICAGO TITLE AND TRUST COMPANY, AS TRUSTEE UNDER TRUST DEED DOCUMENT NO. 16669402, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. CORNELIUS J. HARRINGTON, Judge, presiding. Decree affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE SCHWARTZ DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

This is an appeal from a decree in favor of plaintiff in its suit to foreclose a mechanic's lien for $1050 for labor and materials furnished as extras in connection with the improvement of a building at 743 North LaSalle Street, Chicago. Defendants deny that the extras were authorized or permitted or that defendant Rose E. Jenkins, the official alleged to have so authorized the extras, had authority to do so, and contend that the work claimed to be extra was within the scope of the original contract.

The cause was referred to a master who heard evidence as to the authority of defendants' agent to enter into an agreement with respect to the extras and who also heard parol evidence with respect to the meaning of the original contract and whether it could be considered as embracing the extras performed. He came to the following conclusions:

That Rose E. Jenkins was the authorized agent of defendants;

That defendants' agent had implied authority to enter into any agreement for the furtherance of the work (which would include the extras);

That there existed an ambiguity with respect to the original contract;

That the elements of a written or oral contract were lacking with regard to the subsequent work performed.

On the basis of the last finding, which was not more fully explained by the master, he recommended that a decree be entered in favor of defendants. Objections filed by plaintiff were overruled by the master. Plaintiff filed exceptions and upon argument, these exceptions were sustained and the decree appealed from was entered. Defendants did not file any objections or exceptions, although all the conclusions of the master, except one, were against their position.

Title to the property in question is held by the LaSalle National Bank of Chicago, as trustee under trust No. 19428. The Chicago Title and Trust Company is a party to the suit as a trustee under a trust deed securing an indebtedness. The property is held for the benefit of the Wilcox-Gay Corporation of Michigan, a Michigan corporation, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Majestic International Corporation, an Illinois corporation (hereinafter called Majestic). Defendant Rose E. Jenkins was the manager in charge of sales of Wilcox-Gay Corporation at the time of the transactions in question and was also treasurer and director of Majestic, an importer of high fidelity receivers and tape recorders. She had an office in the building in question and sometime before March 25, 1957 entered into negotiations with plaintiff for work to be done on the building. Such negotiations were had in the presence of her brother Sam F. Jenkins, general sales manager for Majestic and a member of its board of directors.

After some discussion, plaintiff submitted an estimate dated March 25, 1957, proposing to do the work as follows:

"Exterior —

Front of building — steam clean brickwork, sandblast stone work and tuckpoint open joints in brick and stone trim.

North side — west section —

Remove protruding brick on wall from grade up to parapet wall, replace missing brick and tuckpoint entire surface so as to finish ...


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