BEAU BOX COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE, L.L.C.
PENNYWISE SOLUTIONS, INC.
Appealed from the 19th Judicial District Court In and for the
Parish of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana Case No. 666,
526 The Honorable R. Michael Caldwell, Judge Presiding.
A. Pennington Michael J. Harig Baton Rouge, Louisiana Counsel
for Defendant/Appellant Pennywise Solutions, Inc.
Stephen Babcock Chase Tettleton Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellee Beau Box Commercial Real
BEFORE: McDONALD, THERIOT, AND CHUTZ, JJ.
Solutions, Inc. appeals the Nineteenth Judicial District
Court's judgment granting Beau Box Commercial Real
Estate, L.L.C.'s motion for summary judgment. For the
following reasons, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
February 21, 2018, Beau Box Commercial Real Estate, L.L.C.
("Beau Box") filed a petition for damages, naming
Pennywise Solutions, Inc. ("Pennywise") as
defendant. Beau Box alleged that on March 11, 2017, Beau Box
and SSMF Brusly, LLC ("SSMF") entered into a real
estate agency agreement ("the listing agreement")
pursuant to which Beau Box would list available space in a
shopping center owned by SSMF and located at 400 West Saint
Francis Street in Brusly, Louisiana, for lease.
on November 8, 2017, Pennywise entered into a purchase
agreement with SSMF for the sale and purchase of the shopping
center ("the purchase agreement") for the sum of
$4, 050, 000.00. The purchase agreement required that the act
of sale be passed on or before January 29, 2018. Further, the
purchase agreement was drafted by Travis Thornton, then an
employee of Pennywise's realtor, BHHS United Properties
was unable to purchase the property by the January 29, 2018
deadline. According to Sam Tran, Pennywise's owner and
sole shareholder, Pennywise was originally successful in
obtaining financing for the purchase of the property, but the
financing fell through.
petition, Beau Box alleged that Pennywise had breached the
purchase agreement, and, alternatively, that a
stipulation pour autrui had been created in favor of
Beau Box. Beau Box asserted that because Pennywise executed
the purchase agreement, Pennywise expressly agreed to all the
terms and conditions described therein, including an
agreement to be liable for realtor's fees, attorney's
fees, and other costs incurred in the enforcement of any and
all rights under the contract in the event that Pennywise
defaulted on the agreement. Accordingly, Beau Box claimed
that Pennywise was liable to Beau Box for $101, 250.00, which
is one-half of the brokerage commission for the purchase and
sale of the subject property and improvements. Beau Box also
sought attorney's fees and costs, pursuant to the
April 17, 2018, Pennywise answered Beau Box's petition.
Pennywise asserted that it did not default in its purchase
agreement with SSMF because Pennywise had diligently sought
to purchase the property and took all action as was
reasonable and proper under the circumstances to complete the
purchase, but was prevented from doing so by circumstances
beyond its control.
22, 2018, Beau Box filed a motion for summary judgment. In
its opposition to Beau Box's motion for summary judgment,
Pennywise argued that it understood the word
"default" in the original purchase agreement to
pertain to situations in which the obligor is in some way at
fault for failing to close the contemplated real estate
transaction. Accordingly, Pennywise asserted that there must
be fault attributable to the purchaser in order for a
"default" to occur.
judgment signed October 9, 2018, the trial court granted Beau
Box's motion for summary judgment and rendered judgment
in favor of Beau Box in the amount of $101, 250.00. The