United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Beaufort Division
ORDER AND OPINION
Richard Mark Gergel, United States District Court Judge
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs unopposed motion for
summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
grants summary judgment for Plaintiff.
Oil Company is a wholesale distributor of petroleum products
in the southeast United States. Sand Hill Stations of
Bluffton is a company that owned a gas station in Bluffton,
South Carolina. Beginning in June 2010, the parties entered
into a series of contracts, which Sommers Oil alleges Sand
Hill Stations has breached.
23, 2010, Sand Hill Stations, entered into a Branded
Petroleum Supply Contract with Sommers Oil Company. The
Branded Petroleum Supply Contract made Sommers Oil the
exclusive supplier of gasoline to Sand Hill Stations for a
period often years. Sommers Oil alleges Sand Hill Stations
breached that agreement by failing to pay outstanding fuel
charges of $67, 123.06.
August 30, 2010, Sommers Oil entered into a Retail Facility
Development Incentive Program Agreement with Motiva
Enterprises, LLC (Shell) to the benefit of Sand Hill
Stations. The Retail Facility Development Incentive Program
Agreement identified Sand Hill Stations as Sommers Oil's
"Outlet" and offered incentives to Sand Hill
Stations in exchange for Sand Hill Stations being branded as
a Shell station for ten years. Sand Hill Stations benefited
from the Agreement by receiving rebates at the
Agreement's inception based upon the station's
expected sales volume for the first year, as well as
subsequent monetary incentives based upon Sand Hill
Stations' sales volume. All rebates or incentives paid by
Motiva Enterprises under the Agreement were first paid to
Sommers Oil and then distributed to Sand Hill Stations.
Oil alleges that Paragraph 1 of the Branded Petroleum Supply
Contract, which states that "all monies invested by
Sommers and or Shell Oil Company will be repaid" in the
event of a breach, shows that Sand Hill Stations'
agreement that amounts it received as rebates and incentives
under the Retail Facility Development Incentive Program
Agreement would be required to be paid back to Motiva in the
event the station ceased being a branded Shell station. In
April 2014, Sand Hill Stations ceased operations and stopped
being a branded Shell station. As a result, Sommers Oil
alleges it is obligated to reimburse Motiva $107, 449.72 in
fees and rebates paid, and that under the Branded Petroleum
Supply Contract, Sand Hill Stations must also repay all
monies invested by Sommers Oil and Shell Oil Company.
October 26, 2010, Sand Hill Stations executed a Promissory
Note dated October 19, 2010 in favor of Sommers Oil for $279,
946.75 to enable Sand Hill Stations to purchase equipment for
the station. Sommers Oil alleges that Sand Hill Stations
stopped making payments under the note in January 2014 and
that $114, 386.01 is due on the loan.
November 29, 2011, Sand Hill Stations executed a Promissory
Note dated October 6, 2011 in favor of Sommers Oil for $35,
000.00. Sommers Oil alleges Sand Hill Stations failed to make
any payments under the October 6, 2011 promissory note and
that there is an outstanding balance of $36, 750.00.
Oil filed the present breach of contract action on August 21,
2014. On November 17, 2015, Sommers Oil moved for summary
judgment. Sand Hill Stations has not responded to the motion
for summary judgment. Sand Hill Stations has been
unrepresented since its most recent attorney withdrew on
January 29, 2016. (Dkt. No. 44.)
judgment is appropriate if a party "shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact" and that the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In other words, summary judgment should
be granted "only when it is clear that there is no
dispute concerning either the facts of the controversy or the
inferences to be drawn from those facts." Pulliam
Inv. Co. v. Cameo Props., 810 F.2d 1282, 1286 (4th Cir.
1987). "In determining whether a genuine issue has been
raised, the court must construe all inferences and
ambiguities in favor of the nonmoving party."
HealthSouth Rehab. Hosp. v. Am. Natl Red Cross, 101
F.3d 1005, 1008 (4th Cir. 1996). The party seeking summary
judgment shoulders the initial burden of demonstrating to the
court that there is no genuine issue of material fact.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323(1986).
the moving party has made this threshold demonstration, the
non-moving party, to survive the motion for summary judgment,
may not rest on the allegations averred in his pleadings.
Id. at 324. Rather, the non-moving party must
demonstrate that specific, material facts exist that give
rise to a genuine issue. Id. Under this standard,
"[c]onclusory or speculative allegations do not suffice,
nor does a 'mere scintilla of evidence'" in
support of the non-moving party's case. Thompson v.