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.

ABMM, Inc. v. Focus Logistics Transportation

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

September 11, 2017

ABMM, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
FOCUS LOGISTICS TRANSPORTATION, ALLIANCE AIR LOGISTICS, INC., JOAN DAVISON, and DEBORAH JONES, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          CHARLES P. KOCORAS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on the motion of Defendants Focus Logistics Transportation (“Focus”) and Alliance Air Logistics (“Alliance”) (collectively, “Defendants”) to dismiss Counts II and V of the complaint brought by Plaintiff ABMM (“ABMM”) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion to dismiss is denied.

         BACKGROUND

         The Court accepts as true the following well-plead allegations from ABMM's complaint. All possible inferences are drawn in ABMM's favor. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008).

         ABMM is a motor carrier of property in interstate commerce, authorized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) under Docket Number 752914. On February 15, 2016, ABMM executed a Broker/Carrier Transportation Brokerage Agreement with Focus, a corporation that, at all times relevant to this action, is alleged to have operated as an unlicensed broker of motor carriage in interstate commerce. From on or about September 12, 2016, through on or about February 9, 2017, Focus requested ABMM to transport truckload shipments in interstate commerce and confirmed each booking by issuing a Rate Confirmation/Contract Agreement. “Rate Confirmation 1, ” attached to the complaint as Exhibit 2, identifies Focus as the broker and confirms a rate for one such shipment during this time period. ABMM accepted each rate confirmation, agreed to transport each shipment at the specified rate, and so operated from on or about September 12, 2016, through on or about February 9, 2017. After providing services and issuing invoices to Focus, ABMM alleges it still has not been paid $115, 225 in charges pursuant to the parties' agreement, despite ABMM's repeated demands for payment.

         On or about February 16, 2017, ABMM again received a rate confirmation from Focus - “Rate Confirmation 2, ” attached to the complaint as Exhibit 3 - requesting transport of a truckload shipment in interstate commerce. This agreement stated that it was from Focus, but listed a new company, Alliance, as the tendering party and specified that the freight was to be tendered to ABMM by Alliance. At all times relevant to this action, Alliance operated as a FMCSA-licensed broker of motor carriage in interstate commerce under Docket Number 830341. From on or about February 16, 2017, through on or about April 10, 2017, Focus and Alliance requested ABMM to transport truckload shipments in interstate commerce and confirmed each booking by issuing a rate confirmation/contract agreement. ABMM accepted each rate confirmation, agreed to transport each shipment at the specified rate, and so operated from on or about February 16, 2017, through on or about April 10, 2017. After providing services and billing Focus, ABMM alleges it still has not been paid and has suffered damages in the amount of at least $89, 600.

         Finally, ABMM states that Exhibit 4 attached to the complaint is a summary of shipments tendered to ABMM by Alliance. Indeed, Exhibit 4 does display what appears to be a compilation of a series of rate confirmations between ABMM and myriad brokers, one of which is Alliance. This summary, in concert with ABMM's allegations that Alliance unjustly benefited from ABMM's services, underlies ABMM's alternatively plead count of unjust enrichment.

         ABMM alleges the following five counts in its complaint. Count I: Breach of Contract (September 12, 2016, through February 9, 2017) against Focus. Count II: Breach of Contract (February 16, 2017, through April 10, 2017) against Focus and Alliance. Count III: Illegal Brokering pursuant to 49 U.S.C. §14916 against Focus, Joan Davison, and Deborah Jones.[1] Count IV: Unjust Enrichment, in the alternative, against Focus. Count V: Unjust Enrichment, in the alternative, against Alliance. Defendants Focus and Alliance filed this motion seeking dismissal of Counts II and V.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) “tests the sufficiency of the complaint, not the merits of the case.” McReynolds v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 694 F.3d 873, 878 (7th Cir. 2012). The allegations in a complaint must set forth a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). A plaintiff need not provide detailed factual allegations, but must provide enough factual support to raise his right to relief above a speculative level. Bell Atlantic. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A claim must be facially plausible, meaning that the pleadings must “allow…the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The claim must be described “in sufficient detail to give the defendant ‘fair notice of what the…claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “[D]ocuments attached to a motion to dismiss are considered part of the pleadings if they are referred to in the plaintiff's complaint and are central to his claim, ” and may be considered in a district court's ruling on a motion to dismiss. Wright v. Assoc. Ins. Cos. Inc., 29 F.3d 1244, 1248 (7th Cir. 1994). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, ” are insufficient to withstand a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Count II-Breach of Contract (February 16, 2017, through April 10, 2017) Against Focus and Alliance

         Focus and Alliance each seek dismissal of Count II on distinct grounds. Defendants argue that Count II should be dismissed against Alliance because ABMM failed to allege the basic elements necessary to establish a claim for breach of contract. Defendants seeks dismissal of Count II against Focus because the charge is duplicative of Count I. The Court addresses each defendant's position in turn.

         a. ABMM's Alleged Failure to Plead the Prerequisite Elements of a Breach ...


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.