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BALL ENGINEERING COMPANY v. J.G. WHITE & COMPANY.

decided: May 19, 1919.

BALL ENGINEERING COMPANY
v.
J.G. WHITE & COMPANY.



CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT.

Author: Day

[ 250 U.S. Page 50]

 MR. JUSTICE DAY delivered the opinion of the court.

The Ball Engineering Company, a Missouri corporation, brought this action against J.G. White & Company, Inc., a Connecticut corporation, in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, for damages for

[ 250 U.S. Page 51]

     the alleged conversion of a contractor's plant and equipment, which was prepared for use in prosecuting the work of constructing lock and dam No. 6, on the Trinity River, in the State of Texas, and all of which, including buildings, were located upon the site of the lock and dam at the time of the alleged conversion. The action was tried before a referee, designated under the Connecticut practice a Committee. Two trials were had, the first resulting in a judgment in favor of the plaintiff for the value of the converted property. 212 Fed. Rep. 1009. That judgment was reversed by the Circuit Court of Appeals (223 Fed. Rep. 618), and a new trial ordered which took place before the same Committee, and upon the same evidence and the same findings of fact, in order to conform to the decision of the Circuit Court of Appeals, judgment was rendered in favor of the defendant, and this was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals on the authority of its prior decision. 241 Fed. Rep. 989. The case is here upon writ of certiorari.

The United States files its brief amicus curiae, contending that the decision of the Circuit Court of Appeals to the effect that the United States is liable under the Tucker Act when property of a third person is taken by one of its agents, under the circumstances disclosed, was erroneous.

The material facts are:

On July 10, 1906, the United States entered into a contract with the Hubbard Building & Realty Company to construct lock and dam No. 6 on the Trinity River, Texas.

A partnership composed of George A. Carden and P.D.C. Ball, known as the Ball Carden Company, in the year 1908 placed a considerable amount of property, consisting of materials, machinery and tools, on the site of the site of the lock and dam No. 6, and used them in constructing the lock and dam until the month of May, 1909.

This partnership was dissolved in April or May, 1909,

[ 250 U.S. Page 52]

     and discontinued the work theretofore carried on by it in the construction of the lock and dam. Carden transferred all his interest to Ball, who, under the name of the Ball Engineering Company, continued the work until on or about September 8, 1909.

It does not appear under what circumstances the Ball Carden Company or Ball operating as the Ball Engineering Company ...


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