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Coachmen, All-American win appeal in hotel dispute

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court ruling in favor of two Indiana companies that were involved in a Tennessee hotel project that failed to develop.

Coachmen Industries Inc. and All-American Homes LLC were involved in a proposed hotel development in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., that would be built with modular components that All-American was to design and provide and that Coachmen was to finance.

A broad development agreement was executed in 2004 between the Indiana companies and Winforge Inc. in North Carolina and Mod-U-Kraf Homes LLC of Virginia to build a hotel, but the project proceeded in “fits and starts,” according to court records.

After a protracted period of planning, the city of Pigeon Forge rejected the building permit for the project because its sewer system lacked capacity. Ten days later, Coachmen notified Winforge that it was in default on a loan agreement. Its two principals had drawn loans of about $1.2 million – more than 40 percent of the total project cost.

Coachmen foreclosed on the property and purchased it for $1.8 million in March 2006. Less than a year later, it was sold at auction for $283,142.79.

The 7th Circuit rejected Winforge’s arguments that the District Court erred in concluding the contract was not a valid contract, or that the defendants were not in breach. The court found that Winforge had not met its obligations under the development agreement, which prevented modular units from being built.

“The district court reasonably concluded that the Mod-U-Kraf’s failure to construct any modular units did not constitute a breach of the contract because its failure to do so was due to Winforge’s deficient performance of its obligations under the contract, not Mod-U-Kraf’s or All-American’s deficiencies,” Judge Sue Myerscough, of the Central District of Illinois, wrote in a unanimous opinion.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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