Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

GRAND VEHICLE WORKS HOLDINGS CORPORATION v. FREY

May 11, 2005.

GRAND VEHICLE WORKS HOLDINGS CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
THOMAS FREY and RICHARD FISH, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Grand Vehicle Works Holdings Corporation ("GVW") sued Defendants Thomas Frey ("Frey") and Richard Fish ("Fish"), (collectively "Defendants"), for breach of contract, tortious interference with a contractual relationship, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair competition. Defendants move for summary judgment on all counts. For the reasons discussed below, the Court grants in part and denies in part Defendants' motion.

BACKGROUND

  I. Parties And Relevant Non-Parties

  GVW is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Lake County, Illinois. (R. 84-1; Pl.'s Resp. to Def.'s Stmt. Mat. Facts ("Def.'s SMF") ¶ 1.) Andrew Taitz is the Chief Executive Officer of GVW. (Id.) Workhorse Custom Chassis, LLC ("Workhorse") is a subsidiary of GVW. (Id. ¶ 2.) Workhorse manufactures "stripped chassis" for both Class A motorhomes and for commercial step-vans. (Id.) Workhorse was formed in 1998 and maintains production facilities in Union City, Indiana. (Id.) Workhorse only manufactures stripped chassis and does not manufacture trailers. (Id. ¶ 3.) It is the only chassis manufacturer who only manufactures stripped chassis. (Id.) Frey resides in Centerville, Ohio. (Id. ¶ 5.) Workhorse employed Frey as its President from approximately June 1, 1999 to January 7, 2003. (Id.) In January 2003, Frey became and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Universal Trailer Corporation ("Universal Trailer").

  Fish also resides in Centerville, Ohio. (Id. ¶ 6.) Fish served as Workhorse's Vice President of Sales and Marketing from October 23, 2000 until August 1, 2003. (Id.) On August 1, 2003, Fish left Workhorse and went to work for Universal Trailer as its Vice President of Sales and Marketing. (Id.) Universal Trailer currently employs Fish in this same capacity. (Id.)

  Tony Monda ("Monda") resides in Portage, Indiana. (Id. ¶ 7.) Workhorse employed Monda as its Director of Marketing from approximately May 1, 1999 to September 23, 2003. (Id.) On September 23, 2003, Monda left Workhorse and joined Universal Trailer's subsidiary, Haulmark Industries ("Haulmark"), as its Director of Marketing. (Id.) Monda currently serves Haulmark as its Director of Marketing. (Id.)

  II. Motorhomes

  The industry divides motorhomes into at least two classifications — "Class A" and "Class C" motorhomes. (Id. ¶¶ 13, 14.) Class A motorhomes are bus-type motorhomes, such as those made by Winnebago, powered by either gas or diesel engines. (Id.) Gas-powered Class A motorhomes have their engines at the front of the vehicle between and under the driver's side and passenger side seats. (Id.) Gas-powered Class A motorhomes contain living quarters and typically range in size from 20 feet to 35 feet in length. (Id.) Diesel-powered Class A motorhomes have their engines in the rear of the vehicles, contain living quarters, and are between 30 feet and 42 feet in length.

  Class C motorhomes (also referred to as a "mini-Class C") feature a box containing living quarters mounted behind a cab. (Id. ¶ 14.) A Class C motorhome is typically smaller in length than Class A motorhomes, very maneuverable, and resemble an Econoline Van. (Id.) Within the Class C motorhome segment, is a subset of significantly different vehicles for heavy towing that meet specialty needs. (Id. ¶ 15.)

  III. Workhorse's Motorhomes

  Workhorse is a manufacturer of "stripped chassis" for Class A motorhomes. (Id. ¶ 16.) A stripped chassis is the part of the Class A motorhome that includes the engine, transmission, axles, wheels, gas tank, exhaust system, and various other items. (Id.) Workhorse's stripped chassis does not have any seating, body, dashboard, headlights, taillights, or brake lights. (Id. ¶ 17.) An individual cannot lawfully drive a Workhorse stripped chassis on a public highway. (Id.) For Class A motorhomes, Workhorse manufactures both a gas-powered chassis ("P series" and "W series") and a "rear" diesel-powered chassis ("R series"), at least some of which are known in the trade as a "rear diesel pusher chassis." (Id. ¶ 18.) Workhorse's gas-powered stripped chassis has a towing capacity ranging between 3,500-5,000 pounds. (Id.) Workhorse's diesel-powered stripped chassis can tow approximately 11,000 pounds. (Id.)

  Workhorse sells its stripped chassis to Class A motorhome manufacturers, including Fleetwood, Winnebago, National RV, Damon, Forest River, Four Winds, Monaco, Eldorado, Tiffin, Safari, Georgie Boy, Coachman, Holiday Rambler, and Airstream. (Id. ¶ 19.) These Class A motorhome manufacturers then build a Class A motorhome body on top of a Workhorse stripped chassis and sell the completed motorhomes to dealers. (Id.)

  In 2003, Workhorse manufactured approximately 20,000 stripped chassis. (Id. ¶ 20.) Of the 20,000 stripped chassis manufactured and later sold to Class A motorhome manufacturers, only 52 chassis were rear diesel-powered chassis ("R series"). (Id.) According to Workhorse's Chief Financial Officer, Michael Dost, Workhorse's rear diesel-powered chassis sales to Class A motorhome manufacturers were "de minimis." (Id.) On March 25, 2004, Workhorse reported that its first rear diesel-powered chassis had been sold at retail. (Id.)

  Workhorse engages in pull-through marketing, whereby Workhorse markets its stripped chassis to Class A motorhome consumers. (Id. ¶ 21.) Pursuant to this strategy, Workhorse markets its stripped chassis so that an individual will opt to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.