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Bevelheimer v. Slick Airways Inc.

May 17, 1962

PAUL F. BEVELHEIMER
v.
SLICK AIRWAYS, INC.



Author: Marshall

Before MOORE, FRIENDLY and MARSHALL, Circuit Judges.

MARSHALL, Circuit Judge: Plaintiff appeals from an adverse judgment dismissing his complaint. The action sought damages from defendant for breach of an alleged joint venture agreement. Jurisdiction was based on diversity of citizenship, the trial being before Judge SUGARMAN of the District Court for the Southern District of New York sitting without a jury. We affirm.

Plaintiff Bevelheimer, at the pertinent times a broker and Vice-President of an engineering company, testified that one Rentzel, Chairman of the Board of Directors of defendant Slick Airways, Inc., was very anxious to obtain air freight business for Slick in connection with the construction of the Dewline (Distant Early Warning System) by the United States Air Force. According to plaintiff's testimony, Rentzel told plaintiff in the Fall of 1955 that if he put him in touch with the people who could let such contracts, Slick would share the actual net profits with him, Bevelheimer, on a 50-50 basis and would treat it as a joint venture. Bevelheimer then told Rentzel that one Hamerskol, an associate of plaintiff's, had the right contacts and requested that Rentzel put the proposition in writing. On November 29, 1955, Rentzel sent plaintiff the following letter:

Dear Paul:

Attached is my personal check for $1,000.00, which is to cover expenses incurred by Aero Electronics Associates, you and Alec Hamerskol in connection with the Canadian "Dewline" movement, which we understand is to begin December 15, 1955.

This letter and the enclosed check is in accordance with our telephone conversation which we understand to be as follows:

1. Your group will use its best offices to obtain a satisfactory understanding with those controlling the "Dewline" movement in which Slick Airways would participate to the extent of approximately one-third of the eastern area movement.

2. If we are able to successfully negotiate an understanding with those controlling or operating the "Dewline" movement, based on the extent of potential profits to Slick Airways, Slick will reimburse your group in proportion to the potential return to Slick.

3. If we are unable to reach a satisfactory conclusion to participate in this movement, I would be entitled to receive from you one-half of the $1,000.00 which I have personally advanced against expenses which you and your associates may incur - or have incurred - and this would terminate any agreement or understanding between either me or Slick Airways and your group.

I sincerely hope we can work out something that can be beneficial to Slick Airways - and you may be sure we will do what is fair in accordance with the above understanding.

Sincerely yours,

/s/ D. W. RENTZEL

D. W. RENTZEL

Chairm ...


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