Boat dealer files breach of contract suit against supplier

Kelly Holleran Jul. 27, 2012, 6:43am

Bennington pontoon boat

A boat dealership claims one of its suppliers breached a contract and authorized another dealership to sell its product.

Texas Marine and Brokerage filed a lawsuit July 18 in Jefferson County District Court against Bennington Marine and Pontoon Boat, doing business as Bennington Marine.

In its complaint, Texas Marine alleges Bennington Marine entered into a dealership contract with it on Dec. 1, 2009. The contract, which is automatically reviewed from one year to another, allowed Texas Marine to be the exclusive Bennington dealer for Texas and Louisiana, according to the complaint.

However, during 2011, Bennington breached its contract by allowing another dealer to also sell its product, the suit states. Although Bennington provided Texas Marine with a letter signaling its intent to terminate the contract, Texas Marine claims Bennington is not authorized by Texas law to do so.

"Bennington's actions constitute a breach of the contract and violate the Texas Occupations Code," the complaint says.

In its complaint, Texas Marine seeks an injunction that would prevent Bennington Marine from terminating the contract that authorizes Texas Marine as the sole dealer. The injunction sought would also prohibit Bennington Marine from refusing to provide Texas Marine with inventory and from contracting with another entity to sell its product.

In addition to the injunction, Texas Marine seeks actual damages, plus attorney's fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law and other relief the court deems just.

Jon B. Burmeister, Scot E. Sheldon and Heather L. Blackwell of Moore Landrey in Beaumont will be representing it.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E192-691

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