Rembrandt Enterprises, Inc v. Dahmes Stainless
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 53 Sealed Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Rembrandt Enterprises Inc; denying 54 Sealed Motion Summary Judgment filed by Dahmes Stainless Inc (See Order Text). The case will proceed to trial as scheduled beginning 9/18/2017. Signed by Chief Judge Leonard T Strand on 9/7/2017. (copy w/nef to non-ecf Atty Aho) (des)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF IOWA
REMBRANDT ENTERPRISES, INC.,
DAHMES STAINLESS, INC.,
ORDER ON MOTIONS FOR
Presently before me are cross motions for summary judgment. Doc. Nos. 53 and
54. The motions are fully submitted and I find that no oral argument is necessary.
Plaintiff Rembrandt Enterprises, Inc. (Rembrandt), a large scale producer of eggs,
filed this action on December 9, 2015. Doc. No. 1. Rembrandt primarily requests
declaratory relief regarding its purchase contract with defendant Dahmes Stainless, Inc.
(Dahmes). Rembrandt also requests restitution and an accounting of Dahmes’ expenses.
Id., at 4.
Dahmes, a manufacturer of industrial products, filed its answer on April 1, 2016.
Doc. No. 14. Dahmes also filed a counterclaim against Rembrandt, alleging two counts
of breach of contract.1 Doc. No. 14 at 12-15. Dahmes also filed a motion to strike a
portion of the complaint, arguing that it contained a description of an offer to
This case contains claims and counterclaims, so the parties are both plaintiff and defendant.
For clarities sake, Rembrandt will be referred to as the plaintiff and Dahmes will be referred to
as the defendant.
Doc. No. 16.
The Honorable C.J. Williams, Chief United States
Magistrate Judge, found it appropriate to seal the relevant documents rather than striking
them. Doc. No. 29. Dahmes then filed a supplemental answer. Doc. No. 31. The
parties also stipulated to a protective order. Doc. No. 17.
The parties filed cross motions for summary judgment on March 3, 2017. Doc.
Nos. 53 and 54. Rembrandt filed a resistance to Dahmes’ motion for summary judgment
on April 7, 2017. Doc. No. 69.
On that same date, Dahmes filed a resistance to
Rembrandt’s motion for summary judgment. Doc. No. 70. Each party then filed reply
materials. Doc. Nos. 71, 72, 73.
Throughout the pendency of the case, the parties have engaged in numerous
discovery disputes (See Doc. Nos. 40, 49) and several disputes regarding the sealed
information (See Doc. No. 66).
FINDINGS OF FACT
As noted above, Rembrandt is a large scale producer of eggs and egg products,
with several different facilities in Iowa and Minnesota.
In approximately 2014,
Rembrandt sought to expand its business and provide egg products to cereal producer
The exact details regarding Rembrandt’s and Kellogg’s relationship are
disputed. In short, Rembrandt alleges it had assurances that it could become Kellogg’s
sole egg product supplier because Kellogg’s relationship with its past supplier had soured.
Dahmes posits that Rembrandt was merely hoping that if it substantially increased its
A background piece of information assumed in the various filings without being specifically
articulated is that three major cereal manufacturers in America are General Mills, Post and
Kellogg. All three are alluded to in the filings, as at the time of the events giving rise to this
case, Rembrandt provided egg products to General Mills, and, as explained more below, hoped
to begin selling more egg products to Kellogg because a competing egg supplier had been recently
purchased by Kellogg’s rival Post.
output capacity it could secure a larger share of Kellogg’s business. Regardless, it is
undisputed that Rembrandt took steps to comply with Kellogg’s corporate requirements
and to become a more significant supplier for Kellogg.
Rembrandt began the
undertakings necessary to build a new egg processing plant near an existing facility in
Thompson, Iowa. Rembrandt’s plan for the new site was for a large scale facility, with
a construction budget of over $100 million dollars.
As part of the new and expanded Thompson facility, Rembrandt entered into an
agreement (Doc. No. 53-3 at 18) with Dahmes for an industrial egg dryer.3 Rembrandt
and Dahmes signed the purchase agreement on November 20, 2014. The purchase price
was $8.5 million dollars, subject to adjustment for change orders. Following subsequent
change orders, the actual price turned out to be $8.99 million. A down payment of $2.5
million was due at signing and additional progress payments were scheduled throughout
the contract term.
Per its terms, the agreement is governed by Minnesota law. It required Dahmes
to install the dryer with an initial completion date of December 1, 2015, and a final
operation-ready completion date of January 1, 2016. Rembrandt contends those dates
were included in the agreement to allow it to begin its proposed relationship with Kellogg.
Dahmes states that it was largely unaware of why Rembrandt was building a new facility
or how it was financing the project.
The agreement contained financial penalties for missed deadlines. The agreement
also contained several confidentiality requirements that have been previously discussed
in the course of this case. Because of the scale of the project, Dahmes was required to
coordinate installation with the Rembrandt’s general contractor.
ground on its Thompson facility in the fall of 2014. The parties dispute whether the
The dryer at issue in this case is for drying the food product portion of the egg. Specifically,
the dryer is meant to help produce dried egg yolks.
specific location of the dryer’s installation was necessarily included in the agreement
(i.e., was the agreement to provide a dryer for the Thompson facility or was the
agreement to provide a dryer that Rembrandt merely intended to have installed at the
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (Avian Flu) is an aggressive illness fatal to
domestic poultry. In the spring of 2015, an epidemic of Avian Flu hit the Midwestern
United States. The outbreak was notorious and engendered a large amount of media
coverage and government intervention. While six Rembrandt facilities were affected by
the Avian Flu, the Thompson facility was not. Ultimately, Rembrandt was forced to
eliminate over a million birds, which cut its production capacity by over 50%.
The causes of the Avian Flu outbreak are disputed. Rembrandt asserts that it
took appropriate precautionary measures to avoid the outbreak and spread of an Avian
Flu type illness. Dahmes contends that Rembrandt increased its risk by having an “inline” production model in which eggs are hatched, raised, and processed in the same
location. Dahmes posits that if these operations were kept separate, the impact of an
Avian Flu outbreak could have been limited.
As a result of its lost capacity, Rembrandt declared a force majeure to its buyers
and began distributing eggs and egg products on a pro rata basis.
limited access to its Thompson facility to reduce the risk of an Avian Flu infection. Egg
prices went up and Rembrandt lost its opportunity to supply eggs to Kellogg at the
quantities that Rembrandt had hoped.4 Rembrandt contends it lost other business and
profits as a result of the Avian Flu outbreak and the market repercussions the outbreak
caused. Dahmes contends that Rembrandt’s problems were partly self-inflicted, such as
Rembrandt had hoped to sell Kellogg 63 million pounds of egg product to Kellogg in 2016.
Instead, Kellogg is expected to order 20 million pounds of egg product per year from Rembrandt
being unable to provide cage-free eggs requested by one of its biggest customers, General
Mills. Dahmes argues that Rembrandt had already missed opportunities with Kellogg
prior to the Avian Flu outbreak and that Rembrandt had failed to achieve its objectives
with Kellogg as early as late 2014.
Finally, Dahmes contends that Rembrandt was
largely compensated for the damages from the Avian Flu outbreak by insurance and
In May 2015, Rembrandt told its contractors, including Dahmes, of a temporary
halt on the new Thompson facility. The parties agree that on October 22, 2015,
Rembrandt informed Dahmes that the expansion was not happening.
Rembrandt that this constituted a breach of contract. In January 2016, Rembrandt’s
board voted to formally scuttle the construction project and write off the costs occurred.
Rembrandt’s exact financial situation at the time, along with the reason the board decided
to scuttle the project, are disputed by the parties.
Prior to the alleged breach, Rembrandt had paid Dahmes $4.31 million, although
it appears that $546,000 was subsequently returned to Rembrandt per the parties’
agreement. Dahmes presented Rembrandt with a one page accounting summary of its
alleged damages, which purported to itemize claims for lost profits of $2.4 million,
$329,000 in alleged costs incurred for suspending work in process, and actual expenses
allegedly incurred of $992,000.
Other relevant facts are discussed below.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARDS
Any party may move for summary judgment regarding all or any part of the claims
asserted in a case. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). Summary judgment is appropriate when “the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving
party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322 (1986).
A material fact is one that “‘might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law.’” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Thus,
“the substantive law will identify which facts are material.” Id. Facts that are “critical”
under the substantive law are material, while facts that are “irrelevant or unnecessary”
are not. Id.
An issue of material fact is genuine if it has a real basis in the record, Hartnagel
v. Norman, 953 F.2d 394, 395 (8th Cir. 1992) (citing Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986)), or when “‘a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party’ on the question.” Woods v. DaimlerChrysler
Corp., 409 F.3d 984, 990 (8th Cir. 2005) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248).
Evidence that only provides “some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts,”
Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586, or evidence that is “merely colorable” or “not significantly
probative,” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50, does not make an issue of material fact
As such, a genuine issue of material fact requires “sufficient evidence supporting
the claimed factual dispute” so as to “require a jury or judge to resolve the parties’
differing versions of the truth at trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248-49. The party
moving for entry of summary judgment bears “the initial responsibility of informing the
court of the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the record which show
a lack of a genuine issue.” Hartnagel, 953 F.2d at 395 (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at
323). Once the moving party has met this burden, the nonmoving party must go beyond
the pleadings and by depositions, affidavits, or otherwise, designate specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Mosley v. City of Northwoods, 415 F.3d
908, 910 (8th Cir. 2005). The nonmovant must show an alleged issue of fact is genuine
and material as it relates to the substantive law. If a party fails to make a sufficient
showing of an essential element of a claim or defense with respect to which that party
has the burden of proof, then the opposing party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322.
In determining if a genuine issue of material fact is present, I must view the
evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita, 475 U.S. at
Further, I must give the nonmoving party the benefit of all reasonable
inferences that can be drawn from the facts. Id. However, “because we view the facts
in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, we do not weigh the evidence or
attempt to determine the credibility of the witnesses.” Kammueller v. Loomis, Fargo &
Co., 383 F.3d 779, 784 (8th Cir. 2004). Instead, “the court’s function is to determine
whether a dispute about a material fact is genuine.” Quick v. Donaldson Co., Inc., 90
F.3d 1372, 1376-77 (8th Cir. 1996).
On cross motions for summary judgment, the “court must rule on each party’s
motion on an individual and separate basis, determining, for each side, whether a
judgment may be entered in accordance with the Rule 56 standard.” 10A Charles Alan
Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Mary Kay Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure § 2720
(3d ed. 1998). When the parties seek summary judgment on some of the same issues, I
may consider all the parties’ arguments as to each issue, keeping in mind the separate
inferences that are to be drawn from each motion. See Wright v. Keokuk Cnty. Health
Ctr., 399 F. Supp. 2d 938, 946 (S.D. Iowa 2005).
In its motion for summary judgment, Rembrandt makes three arguments. First,
that it is entitled to summary judgment on its declaratory judgment claim based on the
doctrine of frustration of purpose. Second, Rembrandt is entitled to summary judgment
on Dahmes’ breach of contract counterclaim.
Finally, Rembrandt argues that it is
entitled to summary judgment on Dahmes’ counterclaim for lost profits.
Dahmes requests that the court “enter an Order in Dahmes’ favor granting
Dahmes’ Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissing Rembrandt’s Complaint. . .”
Doc. No. 54 at 2. Dahmes then goes onto request a trial on the issue of its damages.
Accordingly, then, it seems Dahmes is requesting summary judgment on Rembrandt’s
declaratory judgment claim and in favor of its breach of contract counterclaim.
Breach of Contract
At the outset, the parties agree that they entered into a contract and that Rembrandt
breached that contract. Their dispute is whether the breach is excusable. As noted
above, when considering cross motions for summary judgment, I must consider the issues
individually to preserve the proper deference to the non-moving party. In this instance,
the parties raise wholly separate rationales in support of their respective motions.
Accordingly, I will consider the motions separately.
Frustration of Purpose
Rembrandt’s motion for summary judgment is rooted in the doctrine of frustration
of purpose. As set out in Rembrandt’s brief:
The defense of frustration of purpose applies where: (1) The party’s
principal purpose in making the contract is frustrated; (2) without that
party’s fault; (3) by the occurrence of an event, the non-occurrence of which
was a basic assumption on which the contract was made. City of Savage
v. Formanek, 459 N.W.2d 173, 176 (Minn. Ct. App. 1990) (internal
Because all three elements are indisputably present, Rembrandt is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law on its declaratory judgment claim
that it was entitled to terminate the Agreement, and on Dahmes’
counterclaim that Rembrandt terminated the Agreement without cause.
Doc. No. 53-1 at 14.
Rembrandt states that the principal purpose of the agreement with Dahmes was to
“supply equipment for the egg processing facility under construction at Rembrandt’s
location in Thompson, Iowa.”
frustration of purpose element.
Id. Rembrandt then makes its argument regarding each
Regarding the purpose of the contract, Rembrandt
The principal purpose of the contract “[m]ust be so completely the
basis of the contract that, as both parties understand, without it the
transaction would make little sense.” City of Savage, 459 N.W.2d at 176
(quoting Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 265 cmt. a (1981)).
However, it is only the purpose of the party seeking to be excused from the
contract that must be frustrated for the doctrine to apply. Little Canada
Charity Bingo Hall Ass’n v. Movers Warehouse, Inc., 498 N.W.2d 22, 25
(Minn. Ct. App. 1993). In other words, the lynchpin is Rembrandt’s
purpose, not Dahmes’ purpose. In determining the principal purpose of a
contract, a court may consider both extrinsic evidence and the surrounding
circumstances. Pieper, Inc. v. Land O’Lakes Farmland Feed, LLC, 390
F.3d 1062, 1066 (8th Cir. 2004). . .
Rembrandt’s principal purpose is expressly stated in Article I of the
Agreement: to obtain a yellow egg dryer that will be “install[ed] . . . at
Rembrandt’s location in Thompson, Iowa” where Rembrandt was building
a new egg processing plant. (SOF ¶ 19.) The Agreement’s requirement
that the dryer be “fully installed” and “produc[ing] saleable and acceptable
product . . . no later than January 1, 2016” provides further evidence of
this specific purpose, since the deadline was necessary for Rembrandt to
begin processing Kellogg’s dried egg volume at the Thompson facility.
(SOF ¶ 20.) . . .
In [City of Savage v. Formanek, 459 N.W.2d 173, 176 (Minn. Ct. App.
1990)] the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the principal purpose of
the defendant landowners in entering an assessment agreement with the City
of Savage to lay sewer lines was to “enable industrial development” on their
property. 459 N.W.2d at 176. The court found this to be the principal
purpose based on the fact that the landowners “would have little use for
sewer and water on a parcel of land they have held for 31 years if they
could not sell or develop it.” Id. at 176. Here, it is undisputed that
Rembrandt had no use for a dryer capable of drying over 12,000 pounds of
whole eggs per hour unless it was installed in a facility capable of producing
and processing such an enormous volume of liquid eggs. (SOF ¶ 16.)
Consequently, without the planned Thompson facility to make use of the
yellow dryer, the Agreement “would make little sense.” See Formanek,
459 N.W.2d at 176.
Id. at 14-16.
Regarding frustration, Rembrandt argues that its purpose was thwarted by the
Avian Flu outbreak:
Under Minnesota law, a party’s principal purpose is frustrated when a
change in circumstances leaves it with “no commercial reason” to follow
through on the agreement. Pieper, 390 F.3d at 1066; accord Formanek,
459 N.W.2d at 166 (rejecting argument that the purpose of the contract
must become impossible to constitute frustration). In this case, it did
become impossible for Rembrandt to achieve its principal purpose in
entering the Agreement––obtaining a large yellow dryer for the new
Thompson facility––because the 2015 HPAI outbreak forced Rembrandt to
terminate construction of the Thompson facility. The changes wrought by
HPAI made a new factory unjustifiable, making it unlikely it could ever
open its doors even if was built. . .
There was no point in continuing construction, however, because HPAI had
caused such a massive drop in demand for dried egg products that the new
facility would likely never have opened its doors. (SOF ¶ 56.) Nor
would Rembrandt’s lenders have permitted such capital expenditures by
Rembrandt; they slashed Rembrandt’s capital expenditure budget from $365
million over five years to no more than $35 million in 2016 and $20 million
annually thereafter. (SOF ¶ 58.)
The cancellation of the Thompson facility project, which frustrated
Rembrandt’s principal purpose of obtaining a dryer for the facility, is
similar to the frustration in both Orix and Formanek.
Id. at 16-17.
Regarding the second element, Rembrandt argues that “a party is not at fault for
the frustration of a contract’s principal purpose if it did not cause the frustrating event.
See Formanek, 459 N.W.2d at 177.” Id. at 18. Rembrandt states that the Avian Flu
outbreak frustrated its ability to build the Thompson facility and that the outbreak was
outside its control.
Regarding the third element, Rembrandt argues:
The same facts that prove that Rembrandt’s principal purpose in
entering the Agreement was to supply a yellow dryer for the Thompson
facility also prove that both parties assumed that the Thompson processing
facility would be constructed to make use of the dryer. There is simply
nothing in the Agreement, or elsewhere in the record, to indicate that either
party contemplated that Rembrandt needed this enormous dryer for
anything other than the new Thompson processing facility.
Id. at 18.
Dahmes argues that summary judgment is not appropriate because of a multitude
of disputed facts, including:
(1) Whether the parties shared the same understanding of purpose about the
(2) Whether Rembrandt’s fault contributed to the unviability of the
Thompson facility by failing to secure any customer supply contracts, to
justify an expansion.
(3) Whether Rembrandt actually “lost” its Facility K Funding, and if it did
whether Rembrandt could have secured alternative funding for the
(4) Whether Rembrandt suffered as great of a financial loss as claimed.
(5) Whether Rembrandt’s decision to proceed with dried egg production
expansion (including the CWS dryer) shows that the purpose of the
Agreement was frustrated[.]
(6) Whether Rembrandt properly prepared for the impact of HPAI or its
biosecurity policy contemplated an outbreak of HPAI or something of
(7) Whether Rembrandt failed to allocate for this risk in its agreement with
Dahmes by not including contingencies relating to its funding sources, avian
disease or obtaining long-term supply contracts from customers.
(8) Whether Rembrandt could have used or sold the Dahmes dryer.
Doc. No. 70 at 15.
Dahmes also argues that Rembrandt’s frustration of purpose argument fails
because the parties did not have a shared purpose in the agreement.
Rembrandt relies on a stilted interpretation of Little Canada Charity Bingo
Hall Ass’n v. Movers Warehouse, Inc., to claim that only Rembrandt’s
purpose must be considered. 498 N.W.2d 22, 25 (Minn. Ct. App. 1993).
. . The law is clear: the relevant “purpose” must be understood by both
To establish a contract’s principal purpose, a party must prove that
a particular purpose was “so completely the basis of the contract that, as
both parties understand, without it the transaction would make little sense.”
See In re Acceptance Ins. Cos. Inc., 567 F.3d 369, 382 (8th Cir. 2009)
(quoting Rest. (2d) of Contracts § 265 cmt. a) (emphasis added). If the
principal purpose is not understood by both parties, then the frustration of
purpose defense fails as a matter of law. Id. . .
[F]or Rembrandt to prevail the parties must have a shared
understanding of the underlying purpose of the contract. See In re
Acceptance Ins. Cos. Inc., 567 F.3d at 382. The Agreement provides the
parties’ purpose as follows: “Rembrandt has agreed to purchase, and
Dahmes has agreed to sell and install, a Dahmes Ductless Dryer System
designed to and which will achieve 9,000 pounds of water evaporation per
hour.” Pltf.’s SOF 15, D-App. 203. Nowhere does the Agreement
incorporate any reference to Rembrandt’s business strategy to build a $100
million new processing facility – let alone declare it the “purpose” of the
Agreement. Id. On the contrary, Rembrandt went to great lengths to
hide its business strategy from Dahmes. SOUF 31, D-App. 137, D-App.
Id. at 4-5.
Next, Dahmes argues that the cases Rembrandt cited in support of its frustration
of purpose argument are factually distinct. Regarding Formanek, 459 N.W.2d at 177,
Dahmes points out that it involved a post-trial appeal, not a motion for summary
judgment. Dahmes argues that because of the procedural posture of that case and the
distinct facts, which involved a governmental property assessment, the Formanek holding
is not applicable here. Moreover, Dahmes argues that in Formanek, the parties agreed
on a shared purpose for the breached contract.
Similarly, Dahmes argues that Orix Pub. Fin., LLC v. Lake Cty., Minn., Civil
No. 11–3261, 2013 WL 6328865, at *12 (D. Minn. Dec. 5, 2013), referenced above, is
another government-related property dispute that is distinct from this case because both
parties in that case understood the purpose of the agreement. Regarding Pieper, also
referenced above, Dahmes argues:
Rembrandt misapplies Pieper, Inc. v. Land O’Lakes, 390 F.3d 1062 (8th
Cir. 2004). In Pieper, Inc., Land O’Lakes (“LOLFF”) agreed to purchase
weaner pigs from Pieper and sell them to third-party finishers. Farmland
would then buy the market hogs from the third-party finishers under the
terms of an existing contract between Farmland and Pieper. When
Farmland stopped purchasing market hogs from the third parties, LOLFF
informed Pieper that it was no longer obligated to purchase weaner pigs
from Pieper. The Court found in favor of LOLFF’s frustration of purpose
defense because the express purpose of the agreement, supplying hogs to
Farmland, was frustrated by Farmland’s refusal to purchase market hogs.
Critically, the agreement expressly referenced the need for third-party
involvement, “LOLFF was to buy Pieper’s weaner pigs only while
Farmland purchased market hogs from third-party finishers.” Id. at 1066
(emphasis added). Both parties conceded that “the deal was dependent
upon [third-party finishers] being able to sell the market hogs to Farmland.”
Doc. No. 70 at 7.
Finally, Dahmes makes factual arguments about the actual purpose of the contract
and contends that even if that purpose was frustrated, Rembrandt was not faultless.
As noted above, the parties agree on Minnesota’s three-element test for the
frustration of purpose doctrine: (1) the party’s principal purpose in making the contract
is frustrated; (2) without that party’s fault; and (3) by the occurrence of an event, the
non-occurrence of which was a basic assumption on which the contract was made. The
parties agree about virtually nothing else.
Perhaps the most important dispute concerns the purpose of the agreement. In
Formanek, the Minnesota Court of Appeals stated:
The purpose that is frustrated must have been a principal purpose of the
party claiming discharge. The principal purpose: [M]ust be so completely
the basis of the contract that, as both parties understand, without it the
transaction would make little sense. Restatement (Second) of Contracts §
265, comment a (1981). Here, both parties understood the principal
purpose of the agreement was to enable industrial development. . .
Formanek, 459 N.W.2d at 176. Both parties seize on portions of this quote to make
their arguments. Rembrandt is correct that the party claiming discharge (Rembrandt) is
the holder of the purpose that must be frustrated. Put another way, Dahmes cannot
claim discharge of the contract based on frustration of purpose if the only purpose that
was frustrated was Rembrandt’s.
However, even though Rembrandt’s is the relevant purpose, Dahmes is correct
that Rembrandt fails to consider the next portion of the Formanek quotation, wherein the
court explained that the purpose claimed by party seeking discharge (Rembrandt) must
be so basic and obvious that both parties understand it. Thus, the proper reading of
Formanek is that only the party whose purpose was frustrated may claim frustration of
purpose, but the purpose allegedly frustrated must be so basic that both parties to the
agreement understood it.
Dahmes argues the agreement was a simple purchase agreement and the purposes
were no more complex that Dahmes wanted to sell a dryer, and Rembrandt wanted to
buy it. Dahmes points to the second paragraph of the agreement, which states:
WHEREAS, Rembrandt has agreed to purchase, and Dahmes has agreed to
sell and install, a Dahmes Ductless Dryer System designed to and which
will achieve 9,000 pounds of water evaporation per hour (the “Dryer
System”) . . .
Doc. No. 53-3 at 18. Rembrandt, by contrast, argues that the purpose of the agreement
was much more specific in that the dryer was to be purchased for installation at a new
facility in Thompson, Iowa. Rembrandt argues that both of those facts (the dryer was
for a new facility and the facility would be located in Thompson) constitute the
fundamental purpose of the agreement.
Neither parties’ position is clearly wrong.
Rembrandt is correct that the
agreement states that the dryer was to be installed at the new Thompson facility, such
that the Thompson installation could understood to be fundamental to the agreement.
Dahmes is correct that Rembrandt is a large egg producer with numerous facilities and
that the express terms of the contract do not make it clear that Rembrandt’s purpose
would be frustrated if the anticipated new Thompson facility was not built.
language of the agreement does not, by itself, resolve these competing positions.
Both parties agree that I can consider extrinsic evidence to determine the purpose
of the contract. Pieper, 390 F.3d at 1066. Rembrandt makes extensive arguments
about how its business required increased production during a specific time frame at the
new Thompson facility so it could make sales to Kellogg.
Dahmes contends that
Rembrandt considered installing dryers at other locations to increase production, and that
the new Thompson facility was merely incidental to Rembrandt’s actual goal of buying
an additional dryer to increase production.
None of the evidence offered by the parties
is uncontroverted such that I can determine the purpose of the contract without weighing
the evidence and making factual findings.
Viewing the evidence in light of the non-
moving party (Dahmes), I could find that the installation of the dryer at the new
Thompson facility was not a primary purpose of the contract. Because there is a genuine
factual dispute about the purpose of the agreement, this issue is not ripe for summary
More importantly, even if I could determine the purpose of the agreement in a
summary fashion, the remaining factors clearly present contested factual issues.
Whether the purpose of the contract was frustrated is in dispute. Dahmes correctly
points out that the facts of this case are significantly different from those at issue in the
cases Rembrandt has cited. In the factually most analogous case, Pieper, the contract
in dispute was for the purchase of hogs. The agreement in that case articulated what
would cause a frustration of purpose. The defendant agreed to buy piglets from Pieper,
to be raised by a third party, and then marketed and sold per the terms of an existing
agreement to another company (Farmland). The contract stated, “LOLFF will purchase
such pigs from [Pieper] only while its Customers have the ability to market such pigs
utilizing the Farmland America’s Best Pork Marketing Agreement No. 8073 dated
November 14, 2000 and originally assigned to Pieper, Inc.” Pieper, 390 F.3d at 1064.
When the third party could not sell hogs utilizing Farmland’s agreement, the court was
able to determine the express purpose of the contract, as described in the contract itself,
and find that the purpose had been frustrated. Id. at 1066.
Similarly, in Orix the agreement at issue stated that its purpose was to provide a
municipality with funding to help secure a federal grant.
Orix, 2013 WL 6328865, at
*13. When it became clear that the municipality could not get the grant, the explicit
purpose was frustrated.
Finally, Formanek dealt with a complex agreement
between a city and certain landowners, and a special assessment agreement for the city
to develop the landowners’ property. Ultimately, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
exercised discretionary authority over the property and halted development. Based on
the contract language and the undisputed intervention by the Corps of Engineers, the
court was able to conclude that the contract’s fundamental purpose had been frustrated.
Formanek, 459 N.W.2d at 174-75.
Nothing about this case is as clear cut. Rembrandt fails to point to the specific
moment that the contract’s purpose was frustrated. Was it when the outbreak of Avian
Flu occurred? Was it later, when Rembrandt’s board decided not to go forward with
the Thompson plant? Was it when Kellogg decided to reduce its dependence on egg
products? Was it when Rembrandt’s financing collapsed? The cases Rembrandt relies
on involved situations in which the alleged frustration was clearly defined and easily
attributable to outside forces.
Here, by contrast, there is no way to resolve the
“frustration” issues without making detailed factual findings.
The second element (whether the party claiming frustration of purpose is faultless)
presents similar uncertainties. Viewing the evidence most favorably to Dahmes, there
are questions regarding whether Rembrandt’s own actions contributed to the collapse of
the agreement. Specifically, Dahmes alleges that Rembrandt engaged in an intentionally
risky expansion gambit and damaged its prospects for expanding its sales to Kellogg
through bad business decisions prior to the Avian Flu outbreak. All these allegations
are supported by at least some evidence, such as Rembrandt’s admissions about the risky
nature of its expansion and Kellogg’s statements that it had made no guarantees that it
would increase its business with Rembrandt.
Finally, the third element is that “the occurrence of an event, the non-occurrence
of which was a basic assumption on which the contract was made.” Like the purpose
of the contract, the occurrence must also be understood by both parties to the contract.
See Formanek, 459 N.W.2d at 177 (“Here, both parties testified that they would not have
entered the agreement if they had known the Corps might require further permits. The
non-occurrence of the Corps taking discretionary authority of the Project was a basic
assumption on which the contract was made.”).
Rembrandt argues that successful
completion of the Thompson expansion was the event assumed by both parties.
However, this is a factual assertion that must be proved. I cannot find, based on either
the terms of the agreement or the undisputed facts, that Dahmes had any specific
expectation regarding the Thompson facility when it entered into the agreement.
For all those reasons, Rembrandt’s motion for summary judgment on its request
for declaratory relief will be denied.
Dahmes’ Motion for Summary Judgment
Dahmes requests summary judgment on its claims for breach of contract
counterclaim. In support of its motion Dahmes notes that the contract was breached and
Rembrandt’s various grounds for excusing the breach.
In its complaint, Rembrandt alleges that its breach is excused based on the doctrine
of commercial impracticability as set out in the Uniform Commercial Code. Doc. No.
1. Dahmes makes several arguments that commercial impracticability does not apply to
the present case. In response, Rembrandt states:
Rembrandt is not relying on the doctrine of impracticability to excuse its
performance under the Agreement under UCC § 2-615. Consequently, it
is unnecessary to address Dahmes’ mistaken argument that § 2-615 only
excuses sellers from performance. See Melford Olsen Honey, Inc. v.
Adee, 452 F.3d 956, 954 (8th Cir. 2006) (under Minnesota UCC,
commercial impracticability excuses both parties’ performance).
Doc. No. 69 at 4 n.2. Accordingly, I need not consider this issue.
Dahmes argues that force majeure supersedes any other claims Rembrandt may
raise to excuse the breach:
Force majeure is [Rembrandt’s] exclusive remedy because it is the
negotiation clause to allocate risk between the parties. When parties
negotiate and include a force majeure clause in a contract, that clause
supplants the UCC § 2–615’s gap-filling provision and the common law
frustration of purpose doctrine to specifically allocate the risk of certain
events occurring to excuse performance. See, e.g., Perlman v. Pioneer
Ltd. Partnership, 918 F.2d 1244, 1248 (5th Cir. 1990) (“The language in
the force majeure clause . . . is unambiguous and its terms were specifically
bargained for by both parties. Therefore, the [common law] ‘doctrine’ of
force majeure should not supersede the specific terms bargained for in the
contract.”); Commonwealth Edison Co. v. Allied-Gen. Nuclear Servs., 731
F. Supp. 850 855-56, (N.D. Ill. 1990) (finding that because the parties
“deal[t] with the question of regulatory force majeure with considerable
specificity. . . it is the contract, rather than a body of judicial doctrine, [the
court] must interpret.”).
Doc. No. 54-8 at 15. Dahmes then states:
The concept that a party may not negotiate for an express force majeure
clause and then rely on the common law for a remedy is similar to the idea
that an express contract and an implied contract cannot coexist as to the
same subject matter. E.g., EAD Control Sys., LLC v. Besser Co. USA, C
11-4029-MWB, 2012 WL 2357572 at *3 (N.D. Iowa June 19, 2012)
(citations omitted). The Court reasoned, “When parties enter into a
contract they assume certain risks with an expectation of a return. [When
that return fails], they have no remedy under the contract for restoring their
expectations. In desperation, they turn to quasicontract for recovery.
This the law will not allow. Quasi-contract is not a means for shifting a
risk one has assumed under contract.” Id. at *4.
Id. at 16-17.
Dahmes then goes on to argue that Rembrandt has waived any force
Rembrandt does not dispute this point.
Doc. No. 69 at 14-15.
Rather, Rembrandt argues that the force majeure clause has nothing to do with the present
Dahmes’ contends that the Force Majeure Clause in the Agreement
“supplants . . . the common law frustration of purpose doctrine to
specifically allocate the risk of certain events occurring to excuse
performance.” (Doc. 55-1 at 15.) However, none of the authorities that
Dahmes relies on actually support that proposition. Furthermore, this
argument is refuted by the language of the clause itself, which relates
exclusively to the possibility that it would become impractical for Dahmes
to build the dryer––not that Rembrandt’s purpose in buying it would be
Doc. No. 69 at 12. Rembrandt then argues that Dahmes has confused the meaning of
According to Dahmes’ own cited cases and secondary sources, “force
majeure” is a “contractual synonym for the general common law doctrine
of (physical) impossibility . . . [that provides] an excuse for
nonperformance due to impossibility to perform.” . . . Thus, a force
majeure clause in contract only “supersedes” “the common law doctrine of
impossibility (today often called impracticability).” Commonwealth Edison,
731 F. Supp. at 855.
Moreover, by its express terms, the UCC is supplemented by
common law. See Minn. Stat. § 336.1-103(b) (“Unless displaced by the
particular provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, the principals of
law and equity … supplement its provisions.”) Consequently, courts apply
the common law doctrine of frustration of purpose even to contracts
involving the sale of goods. See, e.g., Pieper, 390 F.3d at 1066 (applying
common law doctrine of frustration to contract involving sale of pigs) . . .
[T]he doctrine of frustration of purpose is a separate doctrine from
that of impracticality/impossibility. Section 2-615 of the UCC and the
doctrine of impossibility excuse a party when that party’s performance
becomes impracticable; the common law doctrine of frustration excuses one
party’s performance when the other party’s performance becomes
unexpectedly worthless due to an unexpected supervening event. The
doctrine of frustration will thus excuse the performance of a buyer like
Rembrandt, even if the buyer is able to pay, “[i]f an event occurs which
renders goods to be purchased worthless to the buyer.” (Doc. 55-1 at 20.)
None the cases relied upon by Dahmes hold that that a force majeure
clause is even relevant to the availability of the common law doctrine of
frustration, let alone that the clause generally “supplants” the doctrine.
See Perlman, 918 F.2d at 1248 (holding that the doctrine of force majeure
did not excuse nonperformance; frustration not at issue); Commonwealth
Edison, 731 F. Supp. at 855 (holding that the doctrine of impossibility did
not excuse nonperformance; frustration not at issue); Eastern Air Lines v.
McDonnell Douglas Corp., 532 F.2d 957, 990-91 (5th Cir. 1976) (holding
that contractual “excusable delay clause” was “duplicative of [UCC] section
2-615”; frustration not at issue).
Id. at 12-14.
Finally, Rembrandt argues that by its terms, the force majeure clause does not
apply to Rembrandt’s breach:
The language of the Force Majeure Clause in the Agreement, and the
parties’ negotiation of the clause, make plain that it was intended solely to
allocate the risk that it would become impracticable for Dahmes to build
and install the dryer in the Thompson facility. It is telling that Dahmes
never refers to the language of the Force Majeure Clause. (See Doc. 551 at 17 (stating only that the “Agreement contained a negotiated force
Id. at 15.
The force majeure clause states:
Force Majeure. Neither party shall be liable to the other for failure
or delay in performance of the Work caused by war, riots, insurrections,
proclamations, floods, fires, explosions, acts of any governmental body,
terrorism, or other similar events beyond the reasonable control and without
the fault of such party (“Force Majeure Event”). Nevertheless, such party
shall use its best efforts to mitigate the effect and to perform in spite of the
difficulties causing such failure or delay and shall resume performance with
the utmost dispatch as soon as the cessation of the Force Majeure Event
permits. Any party claiming force majeure shall give prompt written
notice thereof to the other party. Notwithstanding the foregoing or any
other provision of this Agreement, if either party is unable to resume
performance within ninety (90) days after commencement of a Force
Majeure Event, then the other party shall have the right to immediately
terminate this Agreement with all available insurance proceeds to be held
in a separate account by the policy insured as a fiduciary which will
distribute the proceeds between the parties in an equitable fashion.
Doc. No. 53-3 at 28. Regarding “the Work,” the agreement states:
Dahmes will provide all of the design, manufacture, supply,
engineering, material, equipment, fabrication and installation (including
providing necessary tools, supervisions and labor therefor) necessary to
engineer, fabricate, deliver, install and commission the Dryer System in
accordance with the requirements of this Agreement, including the
Dahmes’s Proposal #5244.2 (less Option 5.1 for the Indirect Heater)
(“Proposal”), dated November 5. 2014, a copy of which is attached and
identified as Exhibit “A” (collectively the “Work”). Such installation
shall occur at Rembrandt’s location in Thompson, Iowa (the “Site”).
Id. at 18. Based on this language, Rembrandt argues:
By its terms, this provision does not apply to Rembrandt’s
performance, which is limited to the payment of money, as Dahmes itself
points out. (See Doc. 55-1 at 20.) As Dahmes also admits, Rembrandt never
asserted the force majeure provision. (See id. at 17.) To be clear,
Rembrandt does not contend that its performance (paying for the dryer)
became impossible. Rather, as was the case in Orix, Pieper and Formanek,
Rembrandt contends that its obligation to buy the Dahmes dryer is excused
because, the Thompson processing facility could not be built as a result of
the HPAI outbreak, and therefore the dryer no longer has any value to
Rembrandt. There is simply nothing in the force majeure clause––which
repeatedly references to “difficulties” in performance and being “unable”
to perform––that supports Dahmes’ argument that the parties intended this
clause to allocate the risk that an unforeseen event such as the HPAI
outbreak would prevent construction of the Thompson facility and render
the dryer useless.
The parties’ negotiations over the Force Majeure Clause further
reinforce the inference that the parties intended the clause solely to relate
to the situation where Dahmes could not perform. Indeed, Dahmes itself
initially proposed force majeure language that expressly applied only “[i]f
causes beyond Dahmes’s control delay” the installation of the dryer. (See
Doc. 54-1 ¶ 72.) As Dahmes admits, the focus of the negotiations was
whether the clause would “include delays caused by wind and tornado”
among the excuses available to Dahmes. (See id. ¶ 73-74.)
At best, the Force Majeure Clause would preclude the defense of
impracticability that Rembrandt is not relying upon. Accordingly, the
Court should reject Dahmes’ novel and unsupported theory that the clause
“supplants” Rembrandt’s separate defense of frustration of purpose.
Doc. No. 69 at 16-17.
Dahmes asserts two arguments in favor of its motion for summary judgment: (1)
the agreement’s force majeure clause applies to Rembrandt’s breach of the agreement;
and (2) the force majeure clause supersedes any common law remedies such as frustration
of purpose. Neither argument is well-grounded in facts or law.
With regard to Dahmes’ argument that the force majeure clause must control, the
express language of that clause demonstrates that it does not apply to the events at issue
here. As noted above, the clause addresses a “failure or delay in performance of the
Work caused by war, riots, insurrections, proclamations, floods, fires, explosions, acts
of any governmental body, terrorism, or other similar events beyond the reasonable
control and without the fault of such party.” Doc. No. 53-3 at 28. The phrase “the
Work” is defined to mean Dahmes’ efforts in building, delivering and installing the dryer.
Id. at 18. Thus, the clause applies to a failure or delay in the performance of Dahmes’
obligations under the contract.
No such failure or delay occurred here. Dahmes’ work progressed as planned
until Rembrandt directed Dahmes to discontinue work because Rembrandt decided to
scuttle its Thompson construction project.
This was not a force majeure event, as
defined in the contract. Nor does any language in the force majeure clause suggest that
it was written to apply if one party to the contract makes a unilateral decision to terminate
performance of the contract for market-based reasons. Accordingly, Dahmes’ claim
that the force majeure clause applies to this situation fails.
Dahmes has also failed to make a compelling argument that the force majeure
clause restricts Rembrandt’s ability to rely on the doctrine of frustration of purpose. At
the outset, it is worth noting that Dahmes failed to cite any case holding that a force
majeure clause precludes a frustration of purpose claim.
Instead, Dahmes cites a
number of cases that vaguely discuss force majeure in the context of other possible breach
of contract remedies. For example, in its reply brief (Doc. No. 71) Dahmes cites First
Data Res., Inc. v. Int'l Gateway Exch., LLC, No. 8:03CV137, 2004 WL 2187566, at *9
(D. Neb. Sept. 28, 2004), a case that discusses both force majeure and frustration of
purpose. In general, two companies had a plan to distribute prepaid credit cards with
Western Union serving as a third party vendor at which card purchasers could “load”
their cards with money. The contract had a broad force majeure clause:
If performance by either party of any service or obligation under this
Agreement, including Conversion or Deconversion, is prevented,
restricted, delayed or interfered with by reason of labor disputes, strikes,
acts of God, floods, lightning, severe weather, shortages of materials,
rationing, utility or communication failures, failure of a Network, failure
or delay in receiving electronic data, earthquakes, war, acts of terrorist,
revolution, civil commotion, acts of public enemies, blockade, embargo, or
any law, order, proclamation, regulation, ordinance, demand or
requirement having legal effect of any government or any judicial authority
or representative of any such government, or any other act, omission or
cause whatsoever, whether similar or dissimilar to those referred to in this
clause. . .
First Data, 2004 WL 2187566, at *3. Western Union failed to perform its function as
a third party agent, causing the agreement to fall apart. The court found:
IGE has established that its performance should be excused under either
section 14.9 or the business necessity defense. IGE has shown that the
conduct of Western Union in handling the CashCards frustrated the essential
purpose of IGE's business and, consequently, of the service agreement.
IGE has shown that Western Union's actions were beyond the
contemplation or control of IGE. . . Moreover, the situation fits squarely
within the contemplation of the “force majeure” clause. The broad
language of the clause as well as the circumstances of the case show that
IGE did not assume the allocation of any risk, via the force majeure clause,
that would constrain or negate the applicability of the business necessity
defense. Cf. United States v. Winstar Corp., 518 U.S. 839, 909, 116
S.Ct. 2432, 135 L.Ed.2d 964 (1996).
Id. at *8. In no way does the First Data court’s analysis support Dahmes’ argument.
Rather, the case seemingly supports the proposition that a force majeure clause and a
common law remedy can be complementary.
Another case cited by Dahmes, Perlman v. Pioneer Ltd. P'ship, 918 F.2d 1244,
1248 (5th Cir. 1990), involved a voided lease with a narrow force majeure clause. The
Fifth Circuit held that the district could erred by applying the common law force majeure
doctrine rather than the force majeure clause set forth in the contract.
Id. The facts of
Perlman are not analogous to those present here because, as discussed above, no party to
this case is actually claiming a force majeure situation. In Commonwealth Edison Co.
v. Allied-Gen. Nuclear Servs., 731 F. Supp. 850, 856 (N.D. Ill. 1990), another case cited
by Dahmes, the court pointed that a boilerplate force majeure clause should be interpreted
in light of the common law doctrine while a specifically-negotiated force majeure clause
should be interpreted using contract principals.
In EAD Control Sys., LLC v. Besser Co. USA, 2012 WL 2357572, at *3 (N.D.
Iowa 2012), another case cited by Dahmes, this court applied Iowa case law that bars an
unjust enrichment claim when the parties have an express contract. Again, that case
fails to support Dahmes argument that under Minnesota law, an inapplicable force
majeure clause precludes a frustration of purpose of claim.
However, one case cited by both parties, Pieper, is on point, as it applied
Minnesota law to a contract dispute with both a force majeure clause and a claim for
frustration of purpose. In Pieper, the contract had a force majeure clause similar to this
FORCE MAJEURE. Either party in this Agreement shall be suspended
of their responsibilities and obligations thereunder when performance
becomes commercially impossible because of reasons beyond their
reasonable control such as but not limited to fire, explosion, government
regulation or intervention or Acts of God. If such suspension is of a
material obligation and lasts or is estimated to last for more than three (3)
months, the non-suspending party may terminate this Agreement. . .
Pieper, Inc. v. Land O'Lakes Farmland Feed, LLC, C02-90083-RP, Doc. No. 1 (S.D.
Iowa 2000). The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the buyer on its
affirmative defense of frustration of purpose (Id. at Doc. No. 77) and the Eighth Circuit
Pieper, 390 F.3d at 1066.
The court made no mention of any alleged
conflict or inconsistency between the force majeure clause and the frustration of purpose
doctrine. This situation is similar. While the contract contains a force majeure clause,
no authority suggests that the existence of such a clause precludes the doctrine of
frustration of purpose. As such, Rembrandt is not barred from attempting to prove
frustration of purpose at trial. Dahmes’ motion for summary judgment on this issue will
Dahmes’ Motion Regarding Accounting
In its complaint, Rembrandt’s third count seeks an accounting of Dahmes’
expenses to determine what portion of Rembrandt’s payments Dahmes is entitled to keep.
Doc. No. 1 at 4. In its brief, Dahmes argues that it is entitled to summary judgment on
Rembrandt’s accounting claim because it has provided an accounting. Doc. No. 54-8
at 33. Rembrandt admits that Dahmes provided a damage estimate but alleges that the
estimate is not accurate and includes unrecoverable expenses such as attorney’s fees.
Doc. No. 69 at 16-17. As this is a factual dispute, summary judgment is not appropriate
and the matter will be determined at trial. Dahmes’ motion for summary judgment on
the accounting claim will be denied.
Rembrandt’s Motion Regarding Lost Profits
Dahmes makes a claim for lost profits.
Rembrandt moves for summary judgment
on the lost profits claim, arguing that lost profits are speculative and that speculative
damages are prohibited by Minnesota law.
See Tech. Corp. v. Cisco Sys. Inc., 395 F.3d
921, 928 (8th Cir. 2005). Specifically, Rembrandt states:
Dahmes’ corporate representative on the topic of its damages, Dan
DeGeest, testified multiple times that estimating Dahmes’ total costs in
building the dryer (which was less than 15% complete when Rembrandt
told Dahmes to suspend work) would require “speculation.” (SOF ¶ 71.)
There is nothing in the record besides the admittedly speculative estimates
that would allow the court to calculate damages, or even determine whether
there would be any profits in the first place. This “failure to produce
evidence substantiating any amount of damages . . . is fatal to [Dahmes’]
claim,” and Rembrandt is therefore entitled to summary judgment. See
Storage Tech., 395 F.3d at 928.
Doc. No. 53-1 at 19. Dahmes responds:
Minnesota Code § 336.2–708(2) provides one “measure of damages is the
profit (including reasonable overhead) which the seller would have made
from full performance by the buyer.” “The law does not require
mathematical precision in the proof of loss but only proof to a reasonable,
although not necessarily absolute, certainty.” Unique Sys., Inc. v. Zotos
Intern., Inc., 622 F.2d 373, 378 (8th Cir. 1980). Dahmes reasonably
attempted to quantify its damages after the breach occurred. Such damages
need not be established with “mathematical precision in the proof of loss
but only proof to a reasonable, although not necessarily absolute,
certainty.” Unique Sys., Inc., 622 F.2d at 378. Dahmes’s project
estimates were based on its labor costs, its learned experience on similar
projects, and on updated information about materials pricing which it used
to make an informed business decision when submitting its bid to
Rembrandt for the dryer.
Doc. No. 70 at 20-21.
Although I am inclined to agree with Rembrandt that Dahmes’ claim for lost profits
is inherently speculative – and thus barred by Minnesota law – I will find it appropriate
to deny the request for summary judgment on this issue and reserve ruling until I have
had the opportunity to hear the evidence at trial.
Rembrandt’s Motion Regarding the Confidentiality Claim
Finally, as noted above, Dahmes asserts a counterclaim alleging that Rembrandt
breached the parties’ agreement by attaching exhibits A and D to the complaint in this
case. See Doc. No. 14 at 13-14, referencing Doc. No. 1. Dahmes contends that the
agreement contained provisions to keep financial information confidential and that
Rembrandt breached that agreement by including the exhibits with the complaint. Id.
Rembrandt moves to summarily dismiss that claim, arguing that the exhibits
attached to the complaint were not covered by the confidentiality provisions of the
agreement and, even if they were, Dahmes cannot prove any damages. Dahmes has not
resisted Rembrandt’s motion on this issue. See Doc. No. 70. Accordingly, for the
reasons set forth by Rembrandt, Rembrandt’s motion for summary judgment regarding
Dahmes’ confidentiality/breach of contract counterclaim will be granted.
For the reasons set forth herein:
Rembrandt’s motion for summary judgment (Doc. No. 53) is granted in
part and denied in part. The motion is granted with regard to Dahmes’ breach of
contract/confidentiality counterclaim and is denied in all other respects.
Dahmes motion for summary judgment (Doc. No. 54) is denied in all
This case will proceed to trial as scheduled beginning September 18, 2017.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED this 7th day of September, 2017.
Leonard T. Strand, Chief 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?