Jeffrey Hunt recently secured a victory in the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District relating to the Rivercene Bed & Breakfast, a historic bed and breakfast in New Franklin, Missouri.. Hunt represented the Alters and Rivercene Bed & Breakfast, LLC (“Sellers”) in a suit filed by Joe Ely and Donn Upp (“Buyers”). The Buyers, wanting to purchase the inn, its contents and the B&B business, agreed to pay the Sellers $695,000.00 for the sale. Near closing, the Buyers told the Sellers that the Buyers could not fund the full amount of the purchase price. As a result, the parties broke the deal into two parts, the first for the real estate itself and then, due a year later, $247,500 for the contents of the inn, the B&B business and the trade names associated with the B&B business. Sellers extended the closing on the second part for a few years while allowing the Buyers to live at the inn and run the B&B business.
Three years after the real estate closing, the Buyers sued the Sellers, seeking to avoid paying the remaining $247,500, but still taking the B&B business, the contents and the trade names. Sellers counterclaimed seeking payment of the $247,500, seeking to enforce deeds of trust and a security agreement and seeking an injunction to prohibit Buyers from using the trade names as the B&B business. Following a six-day trial, the court found in favor of the Sellers, and the Sellers were awarded the $247,500 that was owed, given the green light to enforce the deeds of trust and security agreement, and were granted an injunction against the Buyers’ use of the trade names. The trial court, however, refused to award the Sellers their attorneys’ fees pursuant to the sales contract.
Both the Sellers and the Buyers appealed the trial court’s ruling. The Western District Court of Appeals affirmed the $247,500 award in favor of the Sellers, the enforceability of the deeds of trust and security agreement and the injunction against the Buyers’ use of the trade names at the B&B business. The Court of Appeals also reversed the trial court’s failure to award the Sellers their attorneys’ fees for enforcing the contractual arrangement. Thus, the appellate court handed a complete victory to the Sellers.
For more information, you many contact Jeffrey Hunt.