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In, Weichert Co. Realtors v. Ryan, 608 A. 2d 280 - NJ: Supreme Court 1992, the plaintiff, Weichert Co. Realtors (Weichert), sought damages from defendants, Thomas Ryan and Jay Saunders, based on defendants' failure to pay Weichert for brokerage services rendered by William Tackaberry, a Weichert employee. Weichert based its claim on defendants' alleged breach of contract, or, in the alternative, on a theory of quantum meruit. The Appellate Division upheld the trial court's determination that Weichert was entitled to recover damages for breach of contract. We granted defendants' petition for certification, 127 N.J. 546, 606 A.2d 360 (1991), and now modify the judgment of the Appellate Division, remanding for a new trial limited to the issue of damages.
In late March 1987, Socrates Kyritsis, a property owner, met with Robert Olpp, the manager of Weichert's Chatham office, and Tackaberry, a real estate agent in that office, and told them he wished to sell the "William Pitt property" for $3,000,000, with the sales commission to be paid by the buyer. Shortly after that meeting, Tackaberry telephoned Ryan, a local developer, and informed him that he knew of a property that Ryan and Saunders, his partner, might be interested in purchasing. Tackaberry also stated that the purchaser would have to pay a ten percent commission. Ryan indicated that he was interested in knowing more about the property, and Tackaberry disclosed the property's identity and the seller's proposed price. Ryan ended the conversation by agreeing to meet with Tackaberry to obtain more information.