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Harbor Laundry Sales, Inc v. Mayflowers Textile Service Co.

March 28, 2012

HARBOR LAUNDRY SALES, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
MAYFLOWERS TEXTILE SERVICE CO., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hillman, District Judge

OPINION

In this breach of contract case, presently before the Court is defendants' motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's claims against them. For the reasons expressed below, defendants' motion will be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, Harbor Laundry Sales, Inc. (hereinafter, "Harbor"), filed a Complaint against defendants Mayflower Healthcare Textile Services LLC and Mayflower Textile Services Co. (hereinafter, "Mayflower"), asserting claims for breach of contract, declaratory judgment, and an accounting, because of Mayflower's alleged failure to pay sales commissions to Harbor pursuant to an agreement between the parties whereby Harbor would solicit and procure for Mayflower customers in need of commercial laundry services. Mayflower subsequently filed a counterclaim against Harbor for restitution for allegedly over-paid commissions.

The main dispute is whether, under the memorandum agreement between Harbor and Mayflower, Harbor "procured" for Mayflower five hospital customers so that Harbor is due over $1.5 million in commissions. Mayflower argues that Harbor did not procure any of those customers, and has moved for summary judgment on Harbor's three claims against it. Harbor has opposed the motion.*fn1

II. DISCUSSION

A. Jurisdiction

This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because there is complete diversity of citizenship between the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.

B. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate where the Court is satisfied that the materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations, admissions, or interrogatory answers, demonstrate that there is no genuine issue as to any 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, 330 (1986); Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a).

An issue is "genuine" if it is supported by evidence such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A fact is "material" if, under the governing substantive law, a dispute about the fact might affect the outcome of the suit. Id. In considering a motion for summary judgment, a district court may not make credibility determinations or engage in any weighing of the evidence; instead, the non-moving party's evidence "is to be believed and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Marino v. Industrial Crating Co., 358 F.3d 241, 247 (3d Cir. 2004)(quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255).

Initially, the moving party has the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the moving party has met this burden, the nonmoving party must identify, by affidavits or otherwise, specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. Thus, to withstand a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must identify specific facts and affirmative evidence that contradict those offered by the moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57. A party opposing summary judgment must do more than just rest upon mere allegations, general denials, or vague statements. Saldana v. Kmart Corp., 260 F.3d 228, 232 (3d Cir. 2001).

C. Analysis

Mayflower raises three arguments in its motion for why it is entitled ...


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