Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sutton v. Adams

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

December 19, 2018

RICK SUTTON
v.
JACK ADAMS, CHARLES ADAMS AND POLLY POINT IMPORTS CORP.

          APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2016-11427, DIVISION "D-12" Honorable Nakisha Ervin-Knott, JUDGE

          PRESTON L. HAYES MATTHEW A. SHERMAN PATRICK R. FOLLETTE CHEHARDY, SHERMAN, WILLIAMS, MURRAY, RECILE, STAKELUM & HAYES, L.L.P.and KIM M. BOYLE PHELPS DUNBAR LLP COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT

          GREGORY W. KEHOE GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A.COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLEES

          Court composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay III, Judge Sandra Cabrina Jenkins, Judge Dale N. Atkins

          JAMES F. MCKAY III CHIEF JUDGE

         In this case involving a failed purported joint business venture, the plaintiff, Rick Sutton, appeals the trial court's judgment maintaining the exceptions of no cause of action, no right of action, and lack of personal jurisdiction in favor of the defendants, Jack Adams, Charles Adams, and Polly Point Imports Corporation, and the dismissal of his lawsuit. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         In June of 2011, Rick Sutton and Jack Adams entered into some type of business relationship regarding the operation/creation of an upscale fine jewelry and art gallery to be located at 501 Royal Street in New Orleans. At this time, Mr. Sutton was negotiating a buyout of his family's business, which had operated as the Jack Sutton Company at 501 Royal Street for over fifty years. Mr. Sutton and Mr. Adams formalized their agreement through the formation of RJANO and Maison Royale, LLC. RJANO was the entity that leased the property at 501 Royal Street and Maison Royale was the store that operated at 501 Royal and a subsidiary of RJANO. However, according to Mr. Adams, Mr. Sutton was unable to satisfy the obligations of the agreement and in September of 2012, Mr. Sutton agreed to become a salaried employee. This point is disputed by Mr. Sutton.

         By October of 2014, the relationship between Mr. Adams and Mr. Sutton had deteriorated. Mr. Adams approached Mr. Sutton and told him he was fired and threatened to have him arrested for trespassing. Mr. Adams also changed the passwords on the business's computers and removed Mr. Sutton's name from the business's bank accounts, among other things.

         Since 2014, Mr. Sutton and Mr. Adams have been locked in several lawsuits in connection with their failed business venture. On November 6, 2014, Mr. Sutton filed a petition for breach of contract and damages, naming Mr. Adams, Maison Royale, and RJANO as defendants.[1] On April 14, 2015, Mr. Sutton filed a petition and rule to show cause against Mr. Adams and Maison Royale for purportedly unpaid wages.[2] On May 20, 2015, Mr. Sutton filed a petition for damages against Mr. Adams alleging that Mr. Adams was liable to him for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.[3] On December 15, 2015, the parties entered into a settlement agreement in open court, whereby Mr. Sutton would buy out Mr. Adams's share of the business for $2.8 million. Mr. Sutton filed a motion to set aside the consent judgment, claiming that Mr. Adams did not disclose all material information, namely, that Polly Point Import Corporation, which is wholly owned by Mr. Adams, owned a one percent interest in Maison Royale.

         On November 18, 2016, Mr. Sutton filed the underlying lawsuit in the instant case against Jack Adams, Charles Adams and Polly Point Imports. Charles Adams, a resident of New York and father of Jack Adams, operated Cellini's, a jewelry store in New York; Mr. Sutton believed that certain consignment items from Cellini's ended up at a "fire sale" at Maison Royale in December of 2015. Mr. Sutton filed an amended petition on June 26, 2017. Mr. Sutton's original and amended petitions set forth causes of action for 1) violations of the Louisiana Racketeering Act (RICO); 2) violations of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (LUTPA); 3) fraud and misrepresentation; 4) breach of fiduciary duty; and 5) detrimental reliance. On March 20, 2017, the defendants filed exceptions of no cause of action, no right of action, vagueness, peremption and lack of personal jurisdiction. These exceptions came on for hearing on October 6, 2017. The trial court also heard brief argument on the defendants' motion to transfer and consolidate.

         On October 6, 2017, after hearing argument, the trial court orally granted relief to defendants. Specifically, the trial court granted the peremptory exceptions of no cause of action and no right of action concerning plaintiff's claims under RICO.[4] The trial court also granted the peremptory exceptions of no cause of action and no right of action concerning plaintiff's claims under LUTPA. The trial court did not rule on the defendants' exception of peremption or their request for 'reasonable attorney fees and costs" under LUTPA, La. R.S. 51:1405(A). Further, the trial court granted the peremptory exception of no cause of action concerning plaintiff's claims for fraud and misrepresentation. The trial court also granted the peremptory exceptions of no cause of action and no right of action concerning plaintiff's claims for breach of fiduciary duty. The trial court also granted the preliminary exception of no cause of action concerning the plaintiff's claims for detrimental reliance. Additionally, the trial court granted the declinatory exception of lack of personal jurisdiction as to Charles Adams. The trial court denied the defendants' motion to transfer and consolidate the case with case No. 2017-0390, Division L. Finally, the trial court ordered that the plaintiff, Rick Sutton, would not be afforded an opportunity to amend his original petition and first amending and/or supplemental petition for damages against the defendants pursuant to La. C.C.P. art. 934.

         On October 16, 2017, Mr. Sutton requested written reasons for judgment. The trial court issued a final written judgment and accompanying written reasons on October 25, 2017. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.