« ForrigeFortsett »
(2) The damages in such a case are personal to the plaintiff. He sues in his own right, not for the association.
(3) Such action involves no direct showing of negligence; the sole primary issue is whether defendants caused or permitted to be made a statement of the bank's condition upon which statement plaintiff relied to his injury, and which statement defendants knew was materially false. And in the trial of this issue the detailed history of the entire transaction is admissible as tending to show whether the loans were in fact bad and whether defendants knew that fact. This scienter is the material condition and plaintiff can select one of the directors as sole defendant or join others with him.
(4) Considering the evidence, the court concluded that it justified a finding of liability against the defendants, but not to the extent of the judgment. The court was of opinion that the basis of loss to the bank, that is, the amount which should have been charged off, was taken in the verdict and judgment at the sum of $223,000 and should not have been greater than $135,000, excluding entirely, as not sustained by the evidence, the Brotherton debts. The court, therefore, reversed the judgment and remanded the case for a new trial.
Plaintiff moved to modify the opinion and judgment in such manner as to permit him to remit such part of it as the court thought was not supported by the evidence and that, as modified, the judgment be affirmed. The motion was denied.
The second trial resulted again, as we have said, in a verdict and judgment for plaintiff. In reaching them a basis beyond $135,000 was taken and the Circuit Court of Appeals held this was error but gave to plaintiff permission to file within thirty days from the filing of the opinion in the trial court a written election to reduce the judgment by the sum in which it exceeded the $135,000 basis.
This was done, and judgment entered accordingly.
Opinion of the Court.
244 U. S.
The case on the facts involves two simple propositions -the scienter of defendant when he attested the report to the Comptroller and the circumstances under which two dividends were declared. Upon these propositions twice have juries held against defendant and twice has the Circuit Court of Appeals held that there was sufficient evidence to sustain their verdicts, modifying only as to certain items of damages. In consideration of our reviewing power and without reciting the testimony, it is enough to say that the findings on these propositions have substantial evidence to support them.
But it is urged that the plaintiff brought this action under § 5239, Rev. Stats., in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Michigan, in which all of the parties resided, and that not that court but the state court had jurisdiction.
The cited section provides for a forfeiture of the franchise of a national bank if its directors knowingly violate or knowingly permit the violation of any of the provisions of the National Bank Act and further provides that in case of such violation "every director who participated in or assented to the same shall be held liable in his personal and individual capacity for all damages which the association, its shareholders, or any other person, shall have sustained in consequence of such violation."
This section was considered in Yates v. Jones National Bank, 206 U. S. 158, 179, and it was held that the rule expressed by it is exclusive and precludes a common-law liability for fraud and deceit. To the same effect are Thomas v. Taylor, 224 U. S. 73, and Jones National Bank v. Yates, 240 U. S. 541. Necessarily a federal question is involved and there was jurisdiction in the courts below. § 5198, Rev. Stats.; § 4 of the Act of August 13, 1888, 25 Stat. 436. Herrmann v. Edwards, 238 U. S. 107, is not opposed to this view. It was there held only that the federal cause of action should be, in the absence of diverse
244 U. S.
citizenship, stated in the bill to give the federal court jurisdiction, a condition that is complied with by the declaration in the present case.
Defendant attempts to distinguish the present case from the cases cited above and, in 77 assignments of error concentrated into 18 points, urges the contentions we have noted and contentions based on the rulings of the trial court in the admission and rejection of evidence and charges to the jury and the rulings of the Circuit Court of Appeals, and attempts to support them by an elaborate and minute argument. Indeed, the whole case is reviewed and all of the deductions made by the lower tribunals from the evidence combated and the contentions reviewed which were disposed of by the Circuit Court of Appeals, in whose decision we concur. To answer in detail would extend this opinion to repellent length. It is enough to say of them that they show no reversible
WOODWORTH v. CHESBROUGH.
ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH
No. 180. Argued April 19, 20, 1917. Decided May 21, 1917.
Finding a verdict and judgment excessive, the Court of Appeals gave the party who had recovered them his option to submit to a reversal or obtain an affirmance by remitting part of the judgment. The party having acted on the latter alternative, Held, that his cross writ of error complaining of the reduction must be dismissed. Cross writ of error to review 221 Fed. Rep. 912, dismissed.
Opinion of the Court.
THE case is stated in the opinion.
244 U. S.
Mr. Edward S. Clark, with whom Mr. John C. Weadock and Mr. H. M. Gillett were on the briefs, for plaintiff in
Mr. Thomas A. E. Weadock for defendant in error.
MR. JUSTICE MCKENNA delivered the opinion of the court.
This is a cross writ of orror taken by Frank T. Woodworth, defendant in error in No. 179, ante, 72, and is presented on the record in that case.
As stated in the opinion in No. 179, the Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the judgment obtained by Woodworth against Chesbrough on the ground that certain amounts computed in the judgment were not sustained by the evidence and, therefore, remanded the case for a new trial. Thereupon Woodworth moved to modify the opinion and judgment in such manner as to permit him to remit such part of it as the court thought was not supported by the evidence and that the judgment, as modified, be affirmed. The motion was denied.
A new trial was had, again resulting in a verdict and judgment for Woodworth. The Court of Appeals again decided that it was excessive but gave Woodworth permission to file a remission of the excess. This he did.
The remittitur recited that plaintiff remits from the judgment the sum of $7,708.56, leaving the amount of the judgment to be $16,005.44. It was stated that it was done in compliance with the opinion of the Circuit Court of Appeals "for the sole purpose of obtaining the entry of a final judgment herein, and of securing the affirmance of that part of the judgment which is not so remitted, and is intended to be without prejudice to plaintiff in any cross
Opinion of the Court.
proceeding hereafter prosecuted by him before the Supreme Court of the United States, which cross proceeding follows and continues to be in connection with any proceeding prosecuted in that court by defendant for the purpose of reviewing said judgment of the Circuit Court of Appeals."
The Court of Appeals then rendered the following judgment:
"This cause came on to be heard on the transcript of the record from the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Michigan, Northern Division, and was argued by counsel.
"The court having filed its opinion, and defendant in error, Woodworth, having thereupon filed in this court a certified copy of a remittitur filed by him in the court below whereby it appears that the judgment complained of herein has been reduced by the sum of seven thousand seven hundred eight dollars and fifty-six cents ($7,708.56) so that it now stands in the court below as a judgment for sixteen thousand five dollars and forty-four cents ($16,005.44) and costs, entered as of November 22, 1913, and bearing interest from the date at five per cent.
"It is now here ordered and adjudged by this court that the judgment of the said District Court in this cause, as so reduced, and as so standing after such reduction, be, and the same is hereby affirmed; but that plaintiff in error, Chesbrough, recover the costs of this court.
"The remittitur so filed having contained the clause stating that it was intended to be without prejudice to plaintiff below (Woodworth) in the prosecution by him of a cross writ of error or proceeding in the Supreme Court if defendant below should proceed in that court to review this judgment, and this court being unwilling to embarrass the party, Woodworth, in his attempt to preserve any right of review to which he may be so contingently entitled, approval of such remittitur as a sufficient com