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Avalanche Equipment, LLC v. Williams-Southern Company, LLC

United States District Court, D. Colorado

December 31, 2014

AVALANCHE EQUIPMENT, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAMS-SOUTHERN COMPANY, LLC, Defendant.

FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND ORDER FOR JUDGMENT

BOYD N. BOLAND, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, Avalanche Equipment, a Colorado limited liability company with its principal place of business in Englewood, Colorado, commenced this action in the District Court of Jefferson County, Colorado. The defendant, Williams-Southern, a Mississippi limited liability company with a principal place of business in Laurel, Mississippi, removed the action based on diversity of citizenship, 28 U.S.C. §1332. The case was tried to the court on December 15-16, 2014.

The dispute is summarized by Avalanche Equipment as follows:

Avalanche Equipment, LLC rented equipment to Williams-Southern Company, LLC for use at two oil and gas project sites in North Dakota: Watford City, ND... and 56th St. NW, Epping, ND.... The terms for the rentals were under a December 27, 2012 credit application. The projects are operated by Gadeco, LLC. Various pieces of equipment were rented on account from January 2013 to May 2013. Williams-Southern did not make any payments on its rental account with Avalanche. Therefore, Avalanche picked up the remaining rented equipment from the two sites in April and May, 2013.

Final Pretrial Order [Doc. # 27] at ¶3(a).

Based on these allegations, Avalanche Equipment asserts four claims for relief: (1) Breach of Contract; (2) Unjust Enrichment; (3) Breach of Implied Contract; and (4) Open Account. Complaint [Doc. # 3]. At trial, however, Avalanche Equipment pursued only its claim for breach of contract.

I.

The facts largely are undisputed. Based on the testimony and documentary evidence presented at trial, I find the following by a preponderance of the evidence:

(1) Williams-Southern was hired by Gadeco to perform work at the Epping well site located near Watford City, North Dakota.

(2) Avalanche Equipment is in the business of leasing equipment for use at drilling sites for oil and gas wells, including sites located in North Dakota.

(3) Bernard Hunt is an account manager for Avalanche Equipment. His responsibilities include selling, picking up new customers, and taking care of existing customers, including taking orders for equipment rentals and making sure that the equipment is delivered in the field.

(4) In December 2012, Mr. Hunt was contacted by Travis Hibley. At that time, Mr. Hibley was employed by Williams-Southern as a supervisor/tool pusher. A tool pusher "is the most knowledgeable person on a location for a rig and they are the immediate supervisor for that crew." Trans. Vol. 1 [Doc. # 52] at p. 44 lines12-15. Mr. Hibley wanted to rent a generator and a towable heater in connection with work being performed by Williams-Southern in North Dakota.

(5) Prior to renting equipment, Mr. Hunt required Williams-Southern to submit a Credit Application.

(6) Williams-Southern submitted a Credit Application, Ex. 1, on December 27, 2012. The Credit Application is signed by Scott Williams, the owner of Williams-Southern.

(7) Avalanche Equipment approved the Williams-Southern Credit Application. The Credit Application provides:

The undersigned agrees to the following terms:

• All invoices are NET 30.
• Past due interest is 1.5% per month on all past due balances.
• In the event of non-payment, customer will pay all costs of collection, including reasonable ...

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