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Reagan Pharmacy, Inc. v. Fred's Stores of Tennessee, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division

December 5, 2014

REAGAN PHARMACY, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
FRED'S STORES OF TENNESSEE, INC., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

W. HAROLD ALBRITTON, Senior District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This case is before the court on a Motion for Summary Judgment, filed by Fred's Stores of Tennessee, Inc. (Doc. #21).

The Plaintiff originally filed a Complaint in this case in the Circuit Court of Geneva County, Alabama on October 18, 2013, bringing state claims for Specific Performance (Count I), Breach of Contract (Count II), and Fraudulent Deceit (Count III).

On November 20, 2013, the Defendants timely removed the case to this court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction, alleging that the individual defendant Wes Maddox ("Maddox"), a resident of the State of Alabama, had been fraudulently joined as a defendant to defeat this court's jurisdiction. The Plaintiff filed a Motion to Remand, which this court denied. Maddox was subsequently dismissed as a Defendant.

For the reasons to be discussed, the Motion for Summary Judgment is due to be GRANTED.

II. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper "if there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and... the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

The party asking for summary judgment "always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, " relying on submissions "which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Id. at 323. Once the moving party has met its burden, the nonmoving party must "go beyond the pleadings" and show that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324.

Both the party "asserting that a fact cannot be, " and a party asserting that a fact is genuinely disputed, must support their assertions by "citing to particular parts of materials in the record, " or by "showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 (c)(1)(A), (B). Acceptable materials under Rule 56(c)(1)(A) include "depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials."

To avoid summary judgment, the nonmoving party "must do more than show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). On the other hand, the evidence of the nonmovant must be believed and all justifiable inferences must be drawn in its favor. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).

After the nonmoving party has responded to the motion for summary judgment, the court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).

III. FACTS

The submissions of the parties establish the following facts, construed in a light most favorable to the non-movant:

Donald and Pamela Hagler ("the Haglers") are the co-owners of Plaintiff Reagan Pharmacy, Inc. Donald Hagler is the President of Reagan Pharmacy. Pamela Hagler serves as a pharmacy technician, and also oversees the business, including its finances. Reagan Pharmacy provides prescription drugs, but also sells over-the-counter medication and non-medical goods. It is located in Hartford, Alabama, and at the time in question was the only pharmacy in Hartford.

In September of 2012, Defendant Fred's Stores of Tennessee, Inc. ("Fred's") approached the Haglers about purchasing Reagan Pharmacy, and its goods. The Haglers retained a Certified Public Accountant to represent them in all negotiations with Fred's, and also with two other pharmacies which had approached Reagan Pharmacy about a possible purchase. The Haglers ultimately decided to deal with Fred's.

The Haglers or their representative met with various representatives of Fred's. Ultimately, a document headed "Sale and Purchase Agreement" was written by Fred's and presented to the Haglers, unsigned. The Haglers signed the Sale and Purchase Agreement on February 22, 2013 and sent it to Fred's. ...


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