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Helena Chemical Co. v. Williamson

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

March 25, 2015

HELENA CHEMICAL CO.,
v.
LAVELLE WILLIAMSON

RULING

ROBERT G. JAMES, District Judge.

This action was brought by Plaintiff Helena Chemical Co. ("Helena") against Defendant Lavelle Williamson ("Williamson") to recover amounts due for goods and services provided to Williamson under a Credit Sales and Services Agreement. Williamson filed a counterclaim asserting that Helena was negligent in selling him wet corn seed, which resulted in his decreased production, loss of higher contract price, and increased farming expenses.

Pending before the Court is Helena's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment for Amounts Due [Doc. No. 11]. Williamson filed a memorandum in opposition [Doc. No. 14]. Helena filed a reply memorandum [Doc. Nos. 21]. Finally, Williamson filed a sur-reply memorandum [Doc. No. 25].

For the following reasons, Helena's motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

I. FACTS AND BACKGROUND

For the 2013 crop year, Williamson purchased goods and services from Helena under a Credit Sales and Services Agreement ("the Agreement"). Williamson purchased corn seed, as well as soybeans and related goods.

Willimson asserts that Helena negligently provided him with wet corn seed that failed to germinate. In a separate Ruling, the Court determined that Williamson may seek consequential damages at trial based on his negligence claim against Helena.

However, Williamson admits that he received the soybeans and other goods necessary for soybean production. He makes no claims against Helena related to the soybeans and related goods.

Williamson made one payment to Helena, but has not made any further payments on his account.

Helena now moves the Court for partial summary judgment, contending there is no genuine issue of material fact that Williamson is liable to it for the amounts due for the soybeans and related goods, including the finance charges provided under the Agreement, and for attorney's fees and costs. Relying on the affidavit of its Credit Manager, Gary Yochum ("Yochum"), Helena lists the following amounts due for soybean production:

Invoice Product Amount XXXXXXXXX Soybean Pioneer 95Y01 $5, 242.50 XXXXXXXXX Soybean Pioneer 95Y01 $ 582.50 XXXXXXXXX Roundup PowerMax $ 107.50 XXXXXXXXX Flexstar GT 3.5 $1, 360.00 XXXXXXXXX Induce $ 66.63 XXXXXXXXX Credit Memo on Flexstar GT 3.5 -$1, 360.00 XXXXXXXXX Sequence $1, 155.00 _________ TOTAL DUE $7, 154.13

Helena further contends that it is entitled to costs, attorney's fees, and finance charges under the Agreement.

Williamson opposes Helena's motion in part. Williamson concedes that the Court may grant summary judgment on Helena's claims for the soybean products, including the amounts due for the products, for finance charges, and costs. However, Williamson contends that he has a valid claim for recoupment under Tennessee law, based on his counterclaim, which should not be cast in judgment until all claims are liquidated. He ...


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