Vice Chancellor Orders Transport Corporation to Pay Girl $10,000 Damages
Agreeing with the contention that transfer of the Public Service Cab Company to Public Service Coordinated Transport was fraudulent, Vice Chancellor Francis B. Davis late yesterday ordered the latter to pay $10,000 in damages to Ralph M. Chorpenning for injuries suffered by his daughter, Ida M., when she was struck by a taxicab.
That sum was part of a verdict for $15,000 awarded by a Circuit Court jury in October, 1927 as a result of Miss Chorpenning being injured by a car of the Public Service Cab Company at Twelfth and Federal Streets in August, 1927.
Testimony taken by Vice Chancellor Davis showed Chorpenning sued Public Service Cab Company to recover damages for his daughter, then a minor. It was contended the cab company paid $5000 of the verdict but sold out to Public Service Coordinated Transport and never made settlement for the balance. Public Service Coordinated disclaimed knowledge of the judgment and responsibility.
Harvey F. Carr and Samuel T. French instituted the action against Public Service in Chancery Court to recover the balance for Chorpenning. Prosecutor Clifford A. Baldwin and Patrick H. Harding were counsel for Public Service.
At the hearing before the vice chancellor, Charles Aceto admitted he acted as agent for Public Service in purchasing the cab company from George Falkenstein, general manager, and Phillip Messina, secretary. On the same day Harding, who was counsel for Public Service, was elected president of the Yellow Cab Company, controlled by Public Service Corporation, which absorbed the Public Service Cab Company, testimony revealed. Harding, Mildred Atkins, his stenographer, and Thomas J. Comerford were elected directors.
On the stand Falkenstein, who is now garage manager for Public Service; admitted he received $29,000 from Aceto for the equipment and name of the taxi company. Harding admitted he received a fee of $1000. A similar fee was paid Aceto. When questioned before Vice Chancellor Davis on the damage suit, Falkenstein declared he forgot to mention the suit in the settlement. Public Service held it was not liable for any damages awarded prior to taking over the company.
At the March hearing Vice Chancellor Davis suggested appointment of a receiver to inquire into the transfer. But in a written opinion handed down yesterday he says:
“I do not think it is necessary to appoint a receiver for the Public Service Cab Company for the reason there appears to be no creditors other than the complainants within.”
In another paragraph he says; “It is the contention of the complainants that the transfer of the physical property of the Public Service Cab Company to the Yellow Cab Company was without consideration and therefore fraudulent and void under the Uniform, Fraudulent Conveyance Act. With this contention I agree.”
Miss Chorpenning, who is now 23, lives with her parents at 2758 Mickle Street.