Fuel-From-Waste, LLC v. Gold Coast Commodities, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Magistrate Judge John E Ott on 1/9/2017. (KAM, )
2017 Jan-09 AM 11:24
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
GOLD COAST COMMODITIES,
INC., TOM W. DOUGLAS,
ROBERT D. DOUGLAS, and
TYSON FARMS, INC.,
GOLD COAST COMMODITIES,
ROBERT TREY FLEMING,
DAVID DREW, and PETER
Case No. 2:15-cv-01431-JEO
This action is before the court on two related motions. Defendant Tyson
Farms, Inc. (“Tyson”), the sole remaining defendant, has filed a motion to dismiss
plaintiff Fuel-From-Waste, LLC’s (“FFW”) First Amended Complaint. (Doc. 49).
FFW, in turn, has filed a motion to file a Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 52).
For the reasons that follow, Tyson’s motion to dismiss will be granted and FFW’s
motion to file its Second Amended Complaint will be denied.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND 1
In June 2014, Tyson entered into a contract with Gold Coast Commodities,
Inc. (“Gold Coast”) for the removal and disposal of lagoon cap sludge materials
from Tyson’s processing plant in Blountsville, Alabama (the “Service
Agreement”).2 Under the Service Agreement, Gold Coast agreed to remove and
dispose of the sludge materials at no cost to Tyson in exchange for the right to sell
oil extracted from the sludge. The Service Agreement was to “continue in effect
for two (2) years … unless terminated as provided in [the Service] Agreement.”
(Service Agreement at ¶ 1).
Unless otherwise indicated, the following facts are taken from FFW’s First Amended
Complaint. (Doc. 37). Consistent with the motion-to-dismiss standard, the court has assumed the
factual allegations in the First Amended Complaint are true and given FFW the benefit of all
reasonable factual inferences.
The Service Agreement is referenced throughout the First Amended Complaint (see doc. 37 at
¶¶ 21-27), but is not part of FFW’s pleadings. However, a copy of the Service Agreement
(minus the exhibits thereto) is attached as Exhibit A to Tyson’s opposition to FFW’s motion to
file its Second Amended Complaint. (See Doc. 59-1). Because the Service Agreement is central
to FFW’s claims against Tyson and FFW has not challenged the authenticity of the copy
submitted by Tyson, the court may consider the Service Agreement in ruling on the pending
motions. See Horsley v. Feldt, 304 F.3d 1125, 1134 (11th Cir. 2002).
After entering into the Service Agreement with Tyson, Gold Coast entered
into a Subcontract Agreement with FFW (the “Subcontract”). 3 Pursuant to the
Subcontract, FFW agreed to perform the services Gold Coast had agreed to
perform for Tyson under the Service Agreement. The Subcontract provided that
FFW would pay Gold Coast “2% of the amount received from Magnus
International from sales of oil from the [Tyson] Lagoon.” (Subcontract at ¶ 3). In
the event Magnus International did not buy the oil, Gold Coast agreed “to buy the
oil with no sales commissions.” (Id.) The term of the Subcontract was the same as
the term of the Service Agreement between Tyson and Gold Coast. (Id. at ¶ 2).
According to FFW, it was “ready, willing and able” to perform its duties
under the Subcontract and, in fact, extracted approximately ten truck-loads of oil
from the Tyson lagoon. (Doc. 37 at ¶ 17). However, in February 2015 Gold Coast
refused to purchase the oil from FFW despite prior assurances from Gold Coast
and its principals (Tom and Robert Douglas) that Gold Coast would honor its
obligations under the Subcontract and purchase the oil.4 Six months later, in
August 2015, Tyson terminated its Service Agreement with Gold Coast.
A copy of the Subcontract was appended as Exhibit A to FFW’s initial Complaint. (Doc. 1 at 913).
Although it is not clear from FFW’s pleadings, it appears that Magnus International did not buy
the oil FFW extracted from the lagoon.
On August 20, 2015, FFW filed this action against Gold Coast and Tom
Douglas. (Doc. 1). FFW did not name Tyson as a defendant. FFW’s Complaint
asserted a claim against Gold Coast for breach of the Subcontract, a claim against
both defendants for fraud, and a claim against Gold Coast for negligence.
After the action had been pending nearly eleven months, FFW filed a motion
to file a First Amended Complaint, which motion was granted. (Docs. 36, 37 &
Among other additions, the First Amended Complaint adds Tyson as a
defendant and asserts two claims against Tyson. In Count Three of the First
Amended Complaint, FFW alleges that Tyson tortiously interfered with the
“contractual agreement and/or business relationships between [FFW] and
Defendant Gold Coast …, as well as other potential purchasers of the oil to be
extracted from the [Tyson] lagoon by unilaterally and untimely terminating the
[Service] [A]greement prior to the expiration of the two year term without proper
justification.” (Doc. 37 at ¶ 45). In Count Four, which is labeled as a negligence
claim, FFW alleges that Tyson “owed a duty to [FFW] to provide … access to the
lagoon for a period of two years” but that Tyson “unilaterally and untimely
terminated its agreement with Gold Coast … and further restricted [FFW’s] access
to the lagoon ….” (Id. at ¶¶ 53-54).
After being served, Tyson filed the pending motion to dismiss the First
Amended Complaint, asserting that FFW has failed to state a claim against Tyson
for either tortious interference or negligence. (Doc. 49). In response, FFW has
agreed to the voluntarily dismissal of its negligence claim against Tyson (doc. 58
at 6), but has also filed a motion to file a Second Amended Complaint that retains a
tortious interference claim against Tyson and adds a claim against Tyson for
breach of contract.5 The breach-of-contract claim is based on Tyson’s alleged
breach of duties it owed to FFW as an alleged third-party beneficiary of the
Service Agreement and as an alleged assignee of Gold Coast’s scope of work
under the Service Agreement. (Doc. 53 at ¶¶ 57-62).
Tyson has submitted both a reply in support of its motion to dismiss FFW’s
First Amended Complaint (doc. 66) and an opposition to FFW’s motion to file its
Second Amended Complaint (doc. 59). Tyson argues that FFW has still failed to
state a tortious interference claim against Tyson and that the factual allegations in
the Second Amended Complaint do not support a breach-of-contract claim against
Although FFW states in its response to Tyson’s motion to dismiss that it is voluntarily
dismissing its negligence claim against Tyson, FFW’s proposed Second Amended Complaint
includes a negligence claim against Tyson. (See Doc. 53 at ¶¶ 53-56). Because the negligence
claim in the Second Amended Complaint is identical to the negligence claim in the First
Amended Complaint, the court will assume that FFW included the claim in the Second Amended
Complaint by mistake and will treat the claim as if it has been abandoned.
Tyson thus argues that FFW’s motion to file the Second Amended
Complaint should be denied and that Tyson should be dismissed from this case.6
STANDARDS OF REVIEW
Motion to Dismiss
Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes a motion to
dismiss an action on the ground that the allegations in the complaint fail to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. On such a motion, the “‘issue is not
whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant is entitled to
offer evidence to support the claims.’” Little v. City of North Miami, 805 F.2d 962,
965 (11th Cir. 1986) (quoting Scheur v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)). In
considering a motion to dismiss, the court assumes the factual allegations in the
complaint are true and gives the plaintiff the benefit of all reasonable factual
inferences. Hazewood v. Foundation Financial Group, LLC, 551 F.3d 1223, 1224
(11th Cir. 2008) (per curiam).
Rule 12(b)(6) is read in light of Rule 8(a)(2), which requires only “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,” in
order to “‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.’” See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
All claims and counterclaims by and between the other parties to this case have been dismissed.
(See Doc. 77).
(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). “While a complaint attacked
by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a
plaintiff’s obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires
more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citations, brackets, and
internal quotation marks omitted). “Factual allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level . . . .” Id. Thus, “a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face,’” i.e., its “factual content . . . allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citations omitted). “The plausibility
standard is not akin to a ‘probability requirement,’ but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
Motion to Amend
“Ordinarily, ‘[i]f the underlying facts or circumstances relied upon by a
plaintiff may be a proper subject of relief,’ Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182, 83
S. Ct. 227, 230, 9 L. Ed. 2d 222 (1962), leave to amend ‘should be freely given,’
Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). Under Foman, however, a district court may properly deny
leave to amend the complaint under Rule 15(a) when such amendment would be
futile. Foman, 371 U.S. at 182, 83 S.Ct. at 230.” Hall v. United Ins. Co. of
America, 367 F.3d 1255, 1262-63 (11th Cir. 2004). Denial of leave to amend is
justified by futility “‘when the complaint as amended is still subject to
dismissal.’” Id. at 1263 (quoting Burger King Corp. v. Weaver, 169 F.3d 1310,
1320 (11th Cir. 1999)). See also Sirote v. BBVA Compass Bank, 857 F. Supp. 2d
1213, 1216 (N.D. Ala. 2010) (“the court may refuse the amendment and dismiss
the complaint if amendment would be futile due to legal or factual inadequacies in
the pleading, or if it is ‘patently obvious’ that the plaintiff could not prevail”
Because Tyson’s motion to dismiss FFW’s First Amended Complaint and
FFW’s motion to file its Second Amended Complaint are related, the court will
address both motions together. Resolution of both motions depends on whether
FFW has stated a claim against Tyson for tortious interference with contractual
and/or business relations or for breach of contract.7 Tyson argues that FFW has
failed to state a tortious interference claim against Tyson in either its First or its
Second Amended Complaint and that the breach-of contract claim in the Second
As noted above, FFW has voluntarily dismissed its negligence claim against Tyson.
Amended Complaint fails as a matter of law and is futile. FFW argues that it has
properly alleged both a tortious interference claim and a breach-of-contract claim
against Tyson in its Second Amended Complaint. The court will consider each
claim in turn.
In Alabama, a claim for tortious interference with contractual or business
relations requires proof of five elements: (1) the existence of an enforceable
contract or protectable business relationship; (2) the defendant’s knowledge of the
contract or business relationship; (3) that the defendant was a stranger to the
contract or business relationship; (4) the defendant’s intentional interference with
the contract or business relationship; and (5) damage to the plaintiff. Glenn Const.
Co., LLC v. Bell Aerospace Servs., Inc., 785 F. Supp. 2d 1258, 1279 (M.D. Ala.
2011) (citing White Sands Grp., L.L.C. v. PRS II, LLC, 32 So. 3d 5, 14 (Ala. 2009),
and Hope for Families & Cmty. Serv., Inc. v. Warren, 721 F. Supp. 2d 1079, 1177
(M.D. Ala. 2010)); see also Mac East, LLC v. Shoney’s, 535 F.3d 1293, 1297 (11th
Here, FFW alleges in its First Amended Complaint that Tyson
tortiously interfered with the “contractual agreement and/or business relationships
between [FFW] and Defendant Gold Coast …, as well as other potential purchasers
of the oil to be extracted from the [Tyson] lagoon by unilaterally and untimely
terminating the [Service] [A]greement prior to the expiration of the two year term
without proper justification.” (Doc. 37 at ¶ 45). In its motion to dismiss, Tyson
argues that the claim is due to be dismissed because Tyson is not a stranger to the
Subcontract between FFW and Gold Coast and is not a stranger to FFW’s business
relationships with Gold Coast or any other potential purchasers of extracted oil.
FFW has conceded that there is privity of contract between Tyson, Gold
Coast and FFW—and, by implication, that Tyson is not a stranger to FFW’s
contractual relationship with Gold Coast such that Tyson could be liable for
interference with that relationship.
In FFW’s Second Amended Complaint,
however, FFW alleges that Tyson “was fully aware of the contractual agreements
and/or business relationships between [FFW] … and other potential purchasers of
the oil, including but not limited to, Viesel Fuel, Inc. ….” (Doc. 53 at ¶ 26). FFW
argues that Tyson “does not (and cannot) affirmatively contend that [Tyson] is in
privity with, or had a contractual relationship with,” Viesel. (Doc. 58 at 5). FFW
argues that “with respect to the contractual and business relationships between
[FFW] and Viesel Fuel, LLC, as well as other purchasers of the oil to which [FFW]
contends … Tyson tortuously [sic] interfered, [FFW] has sufficiently alleged a
cause of action for tortious interference and [Tyson’s] Motion to Dismiss such
claim is due to be denied.” (Id. at 5-6).
Tyson retorts that FFW “has not alleged sufficient facts to support [the
existence of] protectable business relationships with Viesel or any other
unidentified potential purchaser of extracted oil, much less facts supporting that
Tyson was somehow aware of those relationships.” (Doc. 66 at 3). Tyson further
argues that it “does not have to be ‘in privity with,’ or have a contract with, Viesel
to avoid being a stranger to the purported relationship between [FFW] and Viesel.”
(Id. at 5). Tyson asserts that it is not a stranger to the alleged relationship between
FFW and Viesel (or to FFW’s relationships with any other potential purchasers of
extracted oil) and that the tortious interference claim in FFW’s Second Amended
Complaint fares no better than the tortious interference claim in its First Amended
Complaint. The court agrees with Tyson.
Protectable Business Relationship
FFW’s Second Amended Complaint contains a single passing reference to
Viesel as a “potential purchaser” of the oil to be extracted from the Tyson lagoon.
(Doc. 53 at ¶ 26). No other potential purchasers of the oil are identified. Although
FFW does not allege that it had a contract with Viesel for purchase of the oil,
“‘protection is appropriate against improper interference with reasonable
expectancies of commercial relations even when an existing contract is lacking.’”
Ex parte Alabama Dep’t of Transp., 764 So. 2d 1263, 1270 (Ala. 2000) (citing
Restatement (Second) of Torts § 766 cmt. c (1979)). However, “‘greater protection
is given to the interest in an existing contract than to the interest in acquiring
prospective contractual relations.’” White Sands, 32 So. 3d at 15 (citing
Restatement § 767 cmt. j). “[T]he inquiry in this tort is which interests along the
continuum of business dealings are protected. The question, in other words, is
when has an expectancy matured to the stage that it is deemed worthy of protection
from interference.” Id. at 15 (emphasis in original) (citations and internal
Here, FFW’s Second Amended Complaint provides no information about
FFW’s business dealings with Viesel. Indeed, the Second Amended Complaint is
silent as to whether FFW and Viesel ever discussed Viesel’s potential purchase of
the oil to be extracted from the Tyson lagoon, let alone whether FFW had an
expectancy of entering into a contract with Viesel for purchase of the oil. FFW’s
bare allegation that Viesel was a “potential purchaser” of the oil is insufficient to
establish the existence of a protectable business relationship on which to base a
claim for tortious interference with business relations. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(2009) (a complaint does not suffice if it “tenders ‘naked assertion[s]’ devoid of
‘further factual enhancement.’” (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557)); cf. White
Sands, 32 So. 3d at 15-16 (holding that a letter of intent to purchase five lots
evidenced “a relationship based on a reasonable expectation of a commercial
benefit” sufficient to support a claim for tortious interference with business
Knowledge of the Business Relationship
Likewise, the Second Amended Complaint provides no factual support for
FFW’s naked assertion that Tyson was “fully aware” of the alleged business
relationship between FFW and Viesel. Even assuming for argument’s sake that
FFW had a protectable business relationship with Viesel, FFW has not alleged any
facts explaining how Tyson would have been aware of that relationship.
Stranger to the Business Relationship
Finally, even if FFW had satisfactorily alleged the existence of a protectable
business relationship with Viesel and Tyson’s knowledge of that business
relationship, the court is satisfied that Tyson would not be a “stranger” to the
relationship. “A defendant is not a stranger to a contract or business relationship
when ‘(1) the defendant is an essential entity to the purported injured relations; (2)
the allegedly injured relations are inextricably a part of or dependent upon the
defendant’s contractual or business relations; (3) the defendant would benefit
economically from the alleged injured relations; or (4) both the defendant and the
plaintiff are parties to a comprehensive interwoven set of contracts or relations.’”
MAC East, 535 F.3d at 1297 (quoting Waddell & Reed, Inc. v. United Investors
Life Ins. Co., 875 So. 2d 1143, 1156 (Ala. 2003) (quoting Britt Paulk Ins. Agency,
Inc. v. Vandroff Ins. Agency, Inc., 952 F. Supp. 1575, 1584 (N.D. Ga. 1996))). As
the Supreme Court of Alabama explained in Waddell & Reed:
One cannot be guilty of interference with a contract even if one is not
a party to the contract so long as one is a participant in a business
relationship arising from interwoven contractual arrangements that
include the contract. In such an instance, the participant is not a
stranger to the business relationship and the interwoven contractual
arrangements define the participant's rights and duties with respect to
the other individuals or entities in the relationship. If a participant has
a legitimate economic interest in and a legitimate relationship to the
contract, then the participant enjoys a privilege of becoming involved
without being accused of interfering with the contract.
Waddell & Reed, 875 So. 2d at 1157; see id. at 1154 (“A defendant is a party in
interest to a relationship if the defendant has any beneficial or economic interest in,
or control over, that relationship”).
Here, the nature of the alleged business relationship between FFW and
Viesel was that of seller (FFW) and potential purchaser (Viesel) of oil to be
extracted by FFW from the Tyson lagoon pursuant to the terms of FFW’s
Subcontract with Gold Coast.
Absent Tyson’s Service Agreement with Gold
Coast, there would be no Subcontract; absent the Subcontract, there would be no
business relationship between FFW and Viesel and no oil for FFW to sell to
Viesel. Moreover, the Service Agreement provided that Tyson would be
“compensated at the rate of $.005 per pound ($.038 per gallon) of recovered oil
from the … lagoon for all oil extracted in excess of 1,500,000 gallons.” (Service
Agreement at ¶ 5). Therefore, Tyson had a legitimate economic interest in and a
legitimate relationship to any business relationship (or contract) involving FFW’s
sale of extracted oil, whether to Viesel or any other potential purchaser of the oil.
Tyson was an “essential entity” to the purported injured relations between FFW
and Viesel, as those relations flowed from and were dependent upon Tyson’s
Service Agreement allowing Gold Coast to extract and sell the oil. Regardless of
whether Tyson was in privity of contract with Viesel or any other potential
purchaser of the extracted oil, Tyson was not a stranger to FFW’s relationships
with those entities.
For all of the above reasons, the court finds that FFW has failed to state a
tortious interference claim against Tyson in either its First or its Second Amended
Breach of Contract
As previously noted, FFW has voluntarily dismissed its negligence claim
against Tyson, and in its stead has asserted a claim for breach of contract. In
FFW’s Second Amended Complaint, FFW declares that it was “the intended third
party beneficiary” of the Service Agreement between Tyson and Gold Coast and
that it “took an assignment” of Gold Coast’s scope of work under the Service
Agreement. (Doc. 53 at ¶¶ 22-23).
FFW alleges that Tyson breached the
contractual obligations it owed to FFW as a third-party beneficiary/assignee of the
Service Agreement by untimely terminating the Service Agreement and refusing to
provide FFW with access to the lagoon sludge materials in accordance with the
terms and conditions of the Service Agreement. (Id. at ¶¶ 58-62). Tyson responds
that FFW’s breach-of-contract claim fails as a matter of law because FFW has not
pleaded facts establishing that it was either a third-party beneficiary or an assignee
of the Service Agreement. 8 Again, the court agrees with Tyson.
“To recover under a third-party beneficiary theory, the complainant must
show: 1) that the contracting parties intended, at the time the contract was created,
to bestow a direct benefit upon a third party; 2) that the complainant was the
intended beneficiary of the contract; and 3) that the contract was breached.” Sheetz,
Aiken & Aiken, Inc. v. Spann, Hall, Ritchie, Inc., 512 So. 2d 99, 101-02 (Ala.
1987) (citations omitted). Here, FFW has alleged in conclusory fashion that it was
Tyson also argues that FFW has not identified any provision of the Service Agreement that
Tyson allegedly breached. Although FFW does not identify the specific provision or provisions
it claims Tyson breached, FFW does allege that Tyson “unilaterally and untimely” terminated the
Service Agreement “without justification.” (Doc. 53 at ¶¶ 27 & 59). Construing these allegations
in the light most favorable to FFW, FFW appears to be contending that Tyson breached the
Service Agreement by terminating the agreement without justification prior to the expiration of
the agreement’s initial two-year term.
the “intended third party beneficiary” of the Service Agreement between Tyson
and Gold Coast, but has offered no factual support for that naked assertion. In
particular, FFW has not pointed to any provision in the Service Agreement
evidencing an intent to bestow a direct benefit upon FFW or identifying FFW as
the intended beneficiary of the agreement. Indeed, FFW is not even mentioned
anywhere in the Service Agreement, which unambiguously provides that “the
underlying purpose of this Agreement is for [Gold Coast] to receive the benefit of
the receipt of the [sludge] materials and for Tyson to receive the benefit of the
removal of the [sludge] materials, regardless of payment arrangements[.]” (Service
Agreement at 1).
FFW’s bare allegation that it was the intended third-party
beneficiary of the Service Agreement “is precisely the type of factually
unsupported legal conclusion that Iqbal and Twombley [sic] prohibit.” Shedd v.
Wells Fargo Home Mortg., Inc., 2014 WL 6451245, *4 (S.D. Ala. Nov. 17, 2014)
(determining that the plaintiffs’ bare allegation that they were intended third-party
beneficiaries of a servicing contract was insufficient to support a breach-ofcontract claim based on a third-party beneficiary theory). Accordingly, to the
extent FFW’s breach-of-contract claim against Tyson is based on a third-party
beneficiary theory, the claim is subject to dismissal.
FFW also alleges (apparently as an alternative to its third-party beneficiary
theory) that it “took an assignment” of the Service Agreement from Gold Coast. In
other words, FFW appears to be contending that its Subcontract was actually an
assignment of the Service Agreement from Gold Coast to FFW. Again, FFW
offers no factual (or legal) support for this contention, which is belied by the
express terms of the Subcontract.
An assignment is the “transfer of rights or property.” Black’s Law
Dictionary (10th ed. 2014); see also DeVenney v. Hill, 918 So. 2d 106, 113 (Ala.
2005) (“There has been an assignment (1) if the assignor intended to transfer a
present interest in the subject matter of the contract, and (2) if the assignor and the
assignee mutually assented to the assignment.” (citations omitted)). A subcontract,
on the other hand, is a “secondary contract made by a party to the primary contract
for carrying out the primary contract, or a part of it.” Black’s Law Dictionary (10th
ed. 2014). Here, FFW’s Subcontract does not reflect the transfer of any rights or
property from Gold Coast to FFW; rather, the Subcontract reflects FFW’s
agreement to perform Gold Coast’s scope of work under the Service Agreement.
See the Subcontract at ¶ 1. The Subcontract is a secondary contract made by Gold
Coast for carrying out the primary contract (the Service Agreement). It is not an
The Service Agreement also provides that Tyson “hereby consents to allow
[Gold Coast] to subcontract Services as may be necessary for the efficient
performance of this Agreement ….” (Service Agreement at ¶ 8(c)(1)). That is
what Gold Coast did here—it subcontracted its scope of work to FFW. With
respect to assignment, however, the Service Agreement provides that “this
Agreement may not be assigned, in whole or in part, by any party without first
obtaining the written consent of the other party ….” (Id. at ¶ 12(f)). There is no
allegation in FFW’s Second Amended Complaint that Gold Coast ever requested
or obtained Tyson’s written consent to an assignment of the Service Agreement to
FFW, which would have been a prerequisite to any assignment. Moreover, the
Subcontract provides that the provisions of the Service Agreement that apply to the
scope of work to be performed by FFW “are incorporated herein by reference.”
(Subcontract at ¶ 10). If the Service Agreement had been assigned to FFW, as
FFW now claims in its Second Amended Complaint, there would have been no
need to incorporate its terms in the Subcontract.
For all of these reasons, FFW’s bare allegation that it “took an assignment”
of the Service Agreement does not suffice.
To the extent FFW’s breach-of-
contract claim against Tyson is based on an assignment theory, the claim is once
again subject to dismissal.
For the foregoing reasons, the court concludes that FFW has failed to state a
claim against Tyson for tortious interference with contractual and/or business
relations in either its First or its Second Amended Complaint. The court further
concludes that FFW has failed to state a breach-of-contract claim against Tyson in
its Second Amended Complaint, rendering the Second Amended Complaint futile.
Accordingly, FFW’s motion to file the Second Amended Complaint (doc. 52) will
be DENIED and Tyson’s motion to dismiss the First Amended Complaint (doc.
49) will be GRANTED. A separate order consistent with this opinion will be
DATED this 9th day of January, 2017.
JOHN E. OTT
Chief United States Magistrate Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?