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Action Snowmobile & RV, Inc. v. Most Wanted Performance, LLC

Supreme Court of Wyoming

August 3, 2018

ACTION SNOWMOBILE & RV, INC., Appellant (Plaintiff),
v.
MOST WANTED PERFORMANCE, LLC and TREVOR EVA, Appellees (Defendants).

          Appeal from the District Court of Teton County The Honorable Timothy C. Day, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Gerard R. Bosch, Law Offices of Jerry Bosch, Wilson, Wyoming.

          Representing Appellees: Bret F. King and Jeremy Macik of King and King, LLC, Jackson, Wyoming.

          Before DAVIS, C.J., and BURKE [*] , FOX, KAUTZ, and BOOMGAARDEN, JJ.

          KAUTZ, JUSTICE.

         [¶1] Appellant, Action Snowmobile & RV, Inc. (Action), filed a complaint against Appellees, Most Wanted Performance, LLC and one of its owners, Trevor Eva (collectively referred to as Most Wanted), regarding the circumstances under which Most Wanted purchased Action. Action brought claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, conversion, and civil conspiracy. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Most Wanted on all claims. Action appeals the district court's decision. We affirm.

         ISSUES

         [¶2] In this appeal, Action has raised six issues which can be condensed into the following four:

1. Did the district court err when it granted summary judgment in favor of Most Wanted on Action's fraud claim?
2. Did the district court err when it granted summary judgment in favor of Most Wanted on Action's negligent misrepresentation claim?
3. Did the district court err when it granted summary judgment in favor of Most Wanted on Action's civil conspiracy claim?
4. Did the district court err when it granted summary judgment in favor of Most Wanted on Action's conversion claim?

         FACTS

         [¶3] Action was the only licensed Polaris snowmobile dealership in Teton County, Wyoming, and was run by its president, Shaun King. Most Wanted was a competitor company in Jackson, and while it did not sell snowmobiles, it offered maintenance service for snowmobiles and after-market add-ons and accessories. Most Wanted hoped to sell snowmobiles in the future and had called Polaris to inform the company of its interest. Although Polaris told Most Wanted it could not offer it a dealership, Mr. Eva was certain Mr. King and Action would eventually lose the Polaris license due to mismanagement.

         [¶4] There were hard feelings between Mr. King and the owners of Most Wanted, much of which revolved around a performance part developed by Most Wanted that solved a recurring problem on Polaris snowmobiles. Mr. King and another one of his entities, Redneck Racing, had previously sued Most Wanted, claiming ownership of the performance part. According to Mr. Eva, Mr. King and Redneck Racing ended up losing the lawsuit that has become known as the "Redneck litigation."

         [¶5] In November 2012, a company called CW Buffalo Partners, LLC (CW Buffalo) (owned by Dave Willis and Kevin Donovan) contacted Action and expressed interest in managing

          Action. On January 23, 2013, Action (through Mr. King) executed an Asset Purchase Agreement and a Management Agreement with CW Buffalo. On March 15, 2013, CW Buffalo and Action sold Action to Most Wanted for $234, 000. The sale was memorialized with an Agreement for the Purchase and Sale of Assets and was signed by Mr. King and Mr. Willis on behalf of Action and CW Buffalo. On March 27, 2013, Action, Most Wanted and Polaris executed a Transfer and Assumption Agreement, which transferred Action's Polaris inventory to Most Wanted.

         [¶6] In September 2014, Action filed a complaint against CW Buffalo, accusing CW Buffalo of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and conversion during the 2013 transactions involving Action, CW Buffalo and Most Wanted. That lawsuit has been resolved, although the final outcome is not found in the record. Thereafter, Action filed a complaint against Most Wanted for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy, and conversion relating to the same transactions. Generally, Action alleged that CW Buffalo and Most Wanted worked together to fraudulently convince Mr. King to sell Action so that Most Wanted could have the Polaris dealership.

         [¶7] Most Wanted filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing no facts existed to support the claims in Action's complaint. In support of the motion, Most Wanted attached Mr. Eva's affidavit and accompanying exhibits, which explained the time line of all the transactions and any conversations he had with Mr. Willis and CW Buffalo. He also explained how he came into possession of Action's inventory. The exhibits to Mr. Eva's affidavit also included all of the agreements in question between the parties. Action opposed the motion and attached Mr. King's affidavit in support of its position. Action later filed a supplemental memorandum in opposition to summary judgment to which it attached Mr. Eva's deposition transcript, Mr. King's affidavit provided in the lawsuit against CW Buffalo, and paperwork associated with some of the snowmobiles Most Wanted acquired from Action. After a hearing, the district court determined Action had failed to provide any evidence that would support the claims in the complaint and, consequently, granted summary judgment in favor of Most Wanted. Action filed a timely notice of appeal.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         [¶8] We review a district court's summary judgment order de novo. ...


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