Torts Keyed to Henderson
Read v. Coker
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Read (Plaintiff) was a paper-stainer who rented premises from Coker (Defendant). After Plaintiff fell 16 weeks behind in rent, Defendant employed Holliwell to obtain the past-due amount. Because Plaintiff did not have the amount due, he suggested that Holliwell purchase most of the fixtures Plaintiff used in his trade as collateral. Holliwell agreed and subsequently sold the items to Defendant. Thereafter, Plaintiff and Defendant came to an agreement by which Plaintiff would be able to continue using his trade fixtures in his employment and Defendant would pay Plaintiff’s rent. Defendant became dissatisfied with the arrangement and ousted Plaintiff. Days later, Plaintiff came back to the premises and refused to leave when ordered by Defendant. Defendant and some of his workmen surrounded Plaintiff, rolled up their sleeves, and threatened to break Plaintiff’s neck if he did not leave. Fearing that the men would injure him, Plaintiff left and subsequently filed an action for assault against Defendant. The trial judge left it to the jury to determine whether Defendant had an intent to assault Plaintiff. The jury found for Plaintiff. Defendant appealed.
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