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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on May 30, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Dennis W. Plunk, Savannah, Tennessee, and Mary Stewart Nelson, Birmingham, Alabama, for the Defendant/Appellant, James A. Massey

Attorneys 2:

Charles C. Drennon, III, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Plaintiff/Appellee, Linus Thornton

Judge(s): KIRBY

This is the second appeal in this breach of contract case. The defendant property owner leased his recreational farm on a yearly basis to the plaintiff lessee. Their agreement included a provision that, when the farm sold, the plaintiff would received a percentage of the proceeds of the sale. The defendant eventually divided the farm into several parcels and sold the parcels at auction to different purchasers. The plaintiff asserted his right to a percentage of the proceeds. Thereafter, for reasons that are disputed, none of the sales of the various parcels of the farm closed. The plaintiff filed this lawsuit against the defendant owner, asserting that he was entitled to a percentage of the total sale price that would have been realized had all of the sales closed. After a trial, the trial court held in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed. In the first appeal, the appellate court affirmed in part but vacated the judgment and remanded for the trial court to make a factual finding as to whether the sales failed to close because of the purposeful actions of the defendant. On remand, the trial court found that the closings on the sales failed to take place because of the defendant owner’s purposeful actions. The trial court found that the defendant prevented the sales from closing in order to avoid paying the plaintiff the percentage owed him under the parties’ lease agreement. The trial court reinstated the damage award in favor of the plaintiff and awarded prejudgment and post-judgment interest. The defendant now appeals. Discerning no error, we affirm.