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Action on contract. Fulton Superior Court. Before Judge Etheridge.
Appellee Robert Hedrick brought suit against Minuteman Press International, Inc., Lions Graphics and Publications, Inc., Robert A. Moore and Robert J. Moore, appellants, alleging fraud in the sale to Hedrick of an ongoing printing shop franchise. Hedrick claimed that appellants misrepresented to him the amount of expected income, financial status and various other matters concerning the business. The jury returned a verdict in Hedrick's favor for the amount of the purchase price of the business, plus attorney fees. This appeal ensued.
Minuteman Press sells franchises for the operation of retail printing shops. Robert A. Moore, a vice president of Minuteman Press, and his son, Robert J. Moore, an erstwhile employee of Minuteman Press, sold the assets of Lions Graphics and Publications, Inc., a corporation owned by the Moores, to Hedrick and another; Lions Graphics operated under a franchise agreement with Minuteman Press. Hedrick alleged that the Moores fraudulently represented to Hedrick that no books were kept by Lions Graphics, and that it was a profitable operation. He testified that in reliance on these representations, he purchased the business. Hedrick and a former employee of Lions Graphics also testified that there was, in fact, a set of books for the business and that rather than being a profitable operation, Lions Graphics was on the verge of failure when it was sold to Hedrick.
Appellants' sole enumeration of error is that the trial court erred by denying appellants' motion for a directed verdict because Hedrick failed to introduce evidence sufficient to constitute a prima facie case of fraud.
There being evidence supportive of Hedrick's contentions, the trial court did not err in denying appellants' motion for a directed verdict.
David W. Hibbert, for appellee.
Lawrence D. Kupferman, Robert L. Potter, Mark Weber, for appellants.
DECIDED JULY 13, 1983.
Thursday May 21 20:02 EDT

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