Synopsis: Plaintiff sought damages under various theories arising in connection with a contract to sell guns on a consignment sale basis. After a three day court trial, the court awarded damages in the total amount of $291,927.
Case Type: Breach of Contract / Conversion
Case Name: Harte v. Bridgewater
Case Number: SCV-243407
Trial Type: Court
Trial Length: 3 Days
Verdict for: Plaintiff
Attorney for Plaintiff: Marvin Pederson – Law Offices of Marvin Pederson, Santa Rosa, CA
Attorney for Defense Bridgewater: Ryan F. Thomas – Johnston Thomas, Santa Rosa, CA
Attorney for Defense Jones: In propria persona
Judge: Honorable Rene Chouteau
Facts: Plaintiff was a gun collector who sold guns on consignment through defendant Jones, a licensed gun dealer. In total, plaintiff consigned with Defendant Jones guns with a total value of $606,927. Jones allegedly sold the guns but failed to pay plaintiff any of the proceeds. In order to obtain funds to pay plaintiff, Jones located a purchaser for a one-half interest in his gun store, defendant Bridgewater. Jones and Bridgewater entered into a complex written agreement with plaintiff pursuant to which, among other things, Jones and Bridgewater executed promissory notes to plaintiff, and Bridgewater paid plaintiff the sum of $200,000 in cash. Claiming that Jones and Bridgewater had breached the agreement, plaintiff filed a complaint against both of them for breach of contract, conversion, civil conspiracy, elder financial abuse, and declaratory relief. Defendant Bridgewater filed a cross-complaint against Jones for indemnification, breach of contract, fraud, apportionment of fault, and declaratory relief.
Contentions: Plaintiff alleged that, shortly after the agreement was made, the two defendants schemed to avoid their obligations under the agreement and not pay plaintiff. Defendants claimed that plaintiff’s conduct after the agreement was made constituted a breach of the agreement. Plaintiff denied that claim.
Result: The court found that the total amount owed to plaintiff was $606,927, and that he had received payments totaling $315,000, leaving a balance of $291,927. The court awarded that amount ($291,927) which was comprised of $105,000 on the breach of contract claim and $186,927 on the conversion claim. The court found for defendants on the other causes of action. The court found against defendant Bridgewater on all counts in its cross-complaint.