Appeal from Marshall Circuit Court. (CV-88-279). William D. Jetton, TRIAL JUDGE.
As Corrected May 5, 1995. Released for Publication August 28, 1995.
Jones, Hornsby, C.j., and Maddox, Almon, Shores, Houston, Kennedy, Ingram, Cook, and Butts, JJ., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jones
George Paul Decker and Max Davidson sued the Marshall-DeKalb Electric Cooperative, alleging breach of contract and claiming damages for lost profits and mental anguish they contended were the proximate result of the alleged breach. The trial court entered a judgment on a jury verdict for Marshall-DeKalb, and this appeal followed. We affirm.
Pursuant to a "Power Contract," the Tennessee Valley Authority ("TVA") supplies Marshall-DeKalb with electricity for its customers. Decker and Davidson own mobile home parks and are customers of Marshall-DeKalb. In 1982, Marshall-DeKalb contacted its mobile home park customers in writing, to inform them of a change in Marshall-DeKalb's procedure for supplying and billing for electrical service to mobile home parks.
In an earlier action by Davidson against Marshall-DeKalb, Davidson challenged the new billing procedure for mobile home parks (the 1982 procedure change in issue in the instant appeal). In that earlier action, the trial court entered a judgment for Marshall-DeKalb. We quote pertinent portions from this Court's opinion in the appeal in that earlier case:
"Prior to October 27, 1982, each mobile home resident in the Davidsons' park applied for an electric meter and service in his own name and was billed monthly in his own name for that service. On October 27, 1982, Marshall-DeKalb mailed a letter to [Davidson] setting out changes in the procedures for billing its customers in mobile home parks. The new procedures required that all electric service to a mobile home park be in the name of the park owner and be billed to him. Park owners were given two choices: [Plan A:] a single meter for the [mobile home park], with all equipment beyond the meter to be paid for by the park owner; or [Plan B:] individual meters at the lots, installed and billed in the name of the park owner, with all wiring in the park installed and owned by the park owner. Marshall-DeKalb explained the procedures under [Plan B], assuming the park owner would choose that plan.
"[Davidson] sued for a declaration that the proposed changes in billing practices would violate, inter alia, the terms of the TVA/Marshall-DeKalb contract; for an injunction prohibiting Marshall-DeKalb from changing the manner of providing and billing for electric power; and for damages.
"The contract between Marshall-DeKalb and TVA includes the following provisions:
"'Purpose of Contract. It is hereby recognized and declared that, pursuant to the obligations imposed by the TVA Act, [Marshall-DeKalb's] operation of an electric system and TVA's wholesale service thereto are for the benefit of the consumers of electricity.
"'Submetering. [Marshall-DeKalb] shall not sell electricity for submetering or resale.'
"[Davidson contends] that [Plan A] would constitute sale for submetering and [Plan B] would constitute sale for resale. Marshall-DeKalb responds by saying that [Davidson has] no standing to bring the action because [he is] not [an] intended third party beneficiary of the TVA/Marshall-DeKalb contract. The trial court so held."
Davidson v. Marshall-DeKalb Electric Cooperative, 495 So. 2d 1058, 1059-60 (Ala. 1986) ("Davidson I ...