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STIM, LLC v. AECOM, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

November 22, 2016

STIM, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
AECOM, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION (1) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT, AND (2) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          ORTRIE D. SMITH, SENIOR JUDGE

         Pending are cross motions for summary judgment. Plaintiff STIM, LLC's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Doc. #125) is denied, and Defendant AECOM, Inc.'s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. #122) is granted in part and denied in part.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On March 31, 2014, Plaintiff[1] and Defendant entered into a Consulting Agreement. Under the Consulting Agreement, Plaintiff was supposed to identify tax incentives for Defendant. Defendant, in turn, would compensate Plaintiff for those services. For several months, Plaintiff worked to identify tax incentives for Defendant. In September 2014, Defendant terminated the Consulting Agreement.

         Plaintiff subsequently filed suit against Defendant. On April 1, 2016, the Court granted in part and denied in part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. Doc. #66. Specifically, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims for Declaratory Judgment (Count IV), and violation of the Missouri Uniform Trade Secrets Act (Count VI). Plaintiff and Defendant have now filed cross motions for summary judgment. Plaintiff seeks summary judgment on his claim of Breach of Contract (Count I). Doc. #125. Defendant seeks summary judgment on all of Plaintiff's remaining claims: (1) Breach of Contract (Count I), (2) Quantum Meruit (Count II), (3) Unjust Enrichment (Count III), Fraudulent Misrepresentation (Count V), and violation of California Unfair Competition Law (Count VII). Doc. #122.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A moving party is entitled to summary judgment on a claim only if there is a showing that “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” See Williams v. City of St. Louis, 783 F.2d 114, 115 (8th Cir. 1986). “[W]hile the materiality determination rests on the substantive law, it is the substantive law's identification of which facts are critical and which facts are irrelevant that governs.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Thus, “[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.” Wierman v. Casey's Gen. Stores, 638 F.3d 984, 993 (8th Cir. 2011) (quotation omitted). In applying this standard, the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, giving that party the benefit of all inferences that may be reasonably drawn from the evidence. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 588-89 (1986); Tyler v. Harper, 744 F.2d 653, 655 (8th Cir. 1984). However, a party opposing a motion for summary judgment “may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of the…pleadings, but…by affidavits or as otherwise provided in [Rule 56], must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. COUNT I

         Plaintiff presents a claim for breach of contract in Count I. Doc. #1, at 30. The Court finds genuine issues of material fact exist as to this claim. Therefore, the Court denies Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment. The Court also denies Defendant's motion for summary judgment as to this claim for the same reason.

         B. COUNTS II AND III

         Plaintiff presents claims for quantum meruit in Count II, and unjust enrichment in Count III. Doc. #1, at 32. Defendant maintains these claims are precluded by the express contract at issue in this case. Doc. #123, at 38-39. Plaintiff indicates the Court may regard these claims as foreclosed by the existence of an express contract at issue. Doc. #140, at 19. The existence of an express contract precludes recovery under equitable theories such as quantum meruit and unjust enrichment. E.g., Lowe v. Hill, 430 S.W.3d 346, 349 (Mo.Ct.App. 2014) (citations omitted); Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 854 (8th Cir. 2014) (citation omitted) (applying Missouri law). Accordingly, the Court grants summary judgment in favor of Defendant on Count II and Count III.

         C. COUNT V

         Plaintiff presents a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation in Count V. Doc. #1, at 33. To prevail on a fraudulent misrepresentation claim under Missouri law, a plaintiff must prove: (1) a representation; (2) its falsity; (3) its materiality; (4) the speaker's knowledge of its falsity or ignorance of its truth; (5) the speaker's intent that it should be acted on by the person in the manner reasonably contemplated; (6) the hearer's ignorance of the falsity of the representation; (7) the hearer's reliance on the representation being true; (8) the hearer's right ...


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