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Milford Packing Co. v. Isaacs

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle County

April 15, 1952

MILFORD PACKING CO., Inc.
v.
ISAACS et al.

Page 797

[47 Del. 309] H. Albert Young (of Young & Wood), Wilmington, for plaintiff.

[47 Del. 310] Samuel R. Russell (of Tunnell & Tunnell), Georgetown, for defendants.

HERRMANN, Judge.

This cause having come on for trial before the Court, trial by jury having been expressly waived by both parties, and the evidence adduced by the parties having been duly considered, the Court makes the following

Findings of Fact

1. The plaintiff was engaged in the business of processing and packing dill pickles. This business included the purchase of raw cucumbers from farmers and the processing of the said cucumbers in barrels. The processing methods of the plaintiff involved a partial fermentation followed by cold storage warehousing to arrest further fermentation until the pickles were ready for marketing.

2. The defendants were engaged in the business of operating a cold storage warehouse at Georgetown, Delaware.

3. During July and August of 1948, the plaintiff delivered 2,488 barrels of dill pickles to the defendants for cold storage and the defendants issued non-negotiable warehouse receipts therefor.

4. The defendants accepted the plaintiff's pickles for cold storage and agreed to maintain them at such temperature as would prevent the pickles from becoming damaged or spoiled. Specifically, the defendants undertook to store the plaintiff's pickles at a temperature of not less than 32? F. Pickles freeze at that temperature.

[47 Del. 311] 5. The freezing of pickles results in their complete deterioration and destruction.

6. The plaintiff agreed to pay and the defendants agreed to accept storage charges at the rate of $1.75 per barrel until January 1, 1949, and $0.25 per barrel per month thereafter until withdrawn from the warehouse.

7. At various times, from December 1, 1948, to April 27, 1949, the plaintiff withdrew 1,894 barrels of pickles from the defendants' warehouse.

8. On April 27, 1949, the defendants demanded payment of all storage charges then due, including charges on the 1,894 barrels previously withdrawn. The plaintiff refused to comply with this demand and the defendants refused to permit the plaintiff to make further withdrawals. As a result, the defendants retained in their possession 594 barrels of the plaintiff's pickles.

9. Of the 1,894 barrels withdrawn by the plaintiff, 300 barrels of pickles were frozen while in the care, custody and control of the defendants; of the 594 barrels retained by the defendants, 70 barrels of pickles were frozen while in their care, custody and control.

10. The freezing of the pickles resulted from the failure of the defendants to store them at a proper temperature. The freezing was caused by defective insulation between those portions of the defendants' warehouse in which the pickles were stored and other portions of the ...


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