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Grauer v. Valve & Primer Corp.

OPINION FILED MARCH 31, 1977.

PAUL W. GRAUER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

VALVE AND PRIMER CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. ALFRED E. WOODWARD, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE RECHENMACHER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The plaintiff, Paul W. Grauer, filed an action against his former employer, Valve and Primer Corporation (hereafter, the "Corporation"), seeking damages for the breach of an employment contract, a recovery in quantum meruit, and an accounting to determine the amount owed him under the contract. After a bench trial, the court entered judgment for Grauer in the amount of $4,200. On appeal, the Corporation contends that the judgment of the trial court was against the manifest weight of the evidence. We affirm the trial court's judgment.

Grauer is a registered engineer and tax attorney. He was employed by the Corporation in August of 1972, as an assistant to its president, V.B. Dickson. In this position, he functioned both as a legal adviser and as an engineer. During 1972 he worked under an oral contract of employment, at an annual salary of $18,000.

In December of 1972, the Corporation's president sent the following letter to Grauer:

"TO: Paul Grauer FROM: V.B. Dickson SUBJECT: Your 1973 Salary Thank you for a job well done in 1972. Here is your Salary Contract for 1973. .75% on all Sales (i.e. Billings)

You will receive a monthly draw of $1,600.00.

We expect to ship between $3,000,000 and $4,000,000 in 1973 with our new plant, equipment and personnel. And of course with everyone having a year more experience.

Please sign and return one copy to me.

/s/ V.B. Dickson V.B. Dickson, President Valve and Primer Corp.

I understand and agree to the above.

By: __________________ Date: __________________"

Grauer returned the letter without signing it. Dickson then mailed it back to Grauer with a memo dated January 18, 1973, which stated:

"Attached guarantees you a minimum of $22,500 in 1973 — more likely $24,000 plus — because I look for ...


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