Ferrell Mobile Homes, Inc. v. Champion Home Builders

Full title: FERRELL MOBILE HOMES, INC., RIVER CITY MOBILE HOMES SALES, INC. d/b/a MONTY’s MOBILE HOMES Plaintiffs, v. CHAMPION HOME BUILDERS, Defendant.

Court: UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI SOUTHEASTERN DIVISION

Date published: Oct 15, 2018

Facts

The parties do not dispute the majority of the underlying facts.

Defendant Champion Home Builders, Inc. is a manufacturer of mobile homes. Plaintiffs Ferrell Mobile Homes, Inc. and River City Mobile Homes Sales, Inc. d/b/a Monty’s Mobile Homes are family-owned mobile home dealerships. Champion sells a variety of mobile homes of various qualities—entry-level, mid-level, and high-end—using different monikers to differentiate them, such as the “Dresden” line and the “Benton” line.

Before and during 2015, the mid-level Dresden line was being sold through various dealers in the southern Missouri region, including Pioneer Manufactured Homes. Champion then decided to expand its operations, creating the entry-level Benton line of  homes for sale throughout the Midwest. Marvin Shell, a salesperson at Champion, undertook to identify potential dealers for the Benton line and, in March 2016, met with Glynn Ferrell, president and owner of plaintiffs, to discuss a potential business agreement. The two discussed selling the Benton line in the Missouri region; however, Ferrell noted his concern about Champion’s existing relationship with Pioneer for the Dresden line within that same area. Shell assured Ferrell that the Benton line would not be offered to Pioneer.

Issue

Decision

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant Champion’s motion for summary judgment (#43) will be GRANTED IN PART on Count I of the amended complaint (#32). Plaintiffs may proceed to trial on Count I; however, plaintiffs’ contractual damages will be limited to those damages resulting from or incidental to the failure of Champion to provide 60 days’ written notice of termination.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant Champion’s motion for summary judgment (#43) will be GRANTED on Counts II and III of the amended complaint (#32) because plaintiffs have voluntarily abandoned these claims.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant Champion’s motion for summary judgment (#43) will be DENIED on Count IV of the amended complaint (#32). Plaintiffs may proceed to trial on Count IV.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant Champion’s motion for summary judgment (#43) will be GRANTED on Counts V and VI of the amended complaint (#32). Counts V and VI are dismissed.

So ordered this 15th day of October 2018. 

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