Justices affirm brother committed 3 separate breaches of contract

March 18, 2015

The Indiana Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals on Tuesday that a man who purchased three properties outside of the joint business with his brother breached a noncompetition agreement with respect to all three properties.

Mark and Thomas Kramer were 50/50 members in Domus Property Investments LLC, which bought, renovated and leased residential rental properties. They had a noncompete clause whereby each brother agreed not to engage in similar activities outside of their joint business. Thomas Kramer brought this lawsuit alleging Mark Kramer independently purchased three properties, thus breaching the agreement.

The trial court found Mark Kramer did breach the noncompete agreement, but it did not find separate breaches for each property. The Court of Appeals ordered the trial court to find Mark Kramer in breach of the noncompete agreement as to all three properties and to award Thomas Kramer more than $330,000 in damages.

The justices in a two-page per curiam decision in Thomas H. Kramer, Member and Manager of Domus Property Investments, LLC v. Mark Kramer, and Domus Property Investments, LLC, 71S04-1503-PL-132, summarily affirmed the Court of Appeals holding, but remanded to the trial court with instructions to determine damages.



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