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Peters Griffin Woodward, Inc. v. WCSC, Inc – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Peters Griffin Woodward, Inc. v. WCSC, Inc, 88 AD2d 883, 452 N.Y.S.2d 599 [1st Dept 1982], the plaintiff sued two defendants for conversion.

One of the defendants had previously had a contract with the plaintiff, and the other defendant had subsequently entered into a contract with the first defendant to provide similar services to those the plaintiff had previously provided to the first defendant.

The court noted that, although money can be the subject of a conversion action if it is specifically identifiable, "an action for conversion cannot be validly maintained where damages are merely being sought for breach of contract." (Id. at 883-84).

The First Department held that, although a conversion claim could not be brought against either defendant because the plaintiff "never had ownership, possession or control of the money" at issue, plaintiff could seek to recover the money at issue from the first defendant, who had allegedly breached a contract with the plaintiff. (Id. at 884).