Jury sides with Nissan in ADL case

News Story
- 22 Aug 2013 ( #630 ) - St Louis, MO, United States
3 min read
A jury rejected the claims against Nissan.<br />PHOTO: DREAMSTIME.COM
A jury rejected the claims against Nissan.
PHOTO: DREAMSTIME.COM
After hours of deliberation, a federal district court jury has unanimously rejected the remaining issue in a forklift dealer's suit involving Nissan's termination of the firm's dealership agreement.

Lift Truck Lease & Service Inc, doing business as AD Lift Truck (ADL), sued Nissan Forklift Corp, North America over the termination in early 2012.

In January 2010, ADL entered into a two-year dealer agreement with Nissan, authorising ADL to serve as a Nissan dealer in the St. Louis market, according to court filings. The agreement included a renewal option.

In January 2012, prior to expiration of the agreement, Nissan sent a termination letter to ADL. Nissan gave notice of its intent not to renew the agreement. Nissan told ADL that it was in default due to failure to meet its marketshare and parts-purchase requirements.

Under a Missouri law, the notice explained that ADL had 60 days to cure and that any non-renewal or termination would be ineffective if cured. Otherwise, termination would occur in 90 days. ADL responded by filing a federal lawsuit on 27 January, 17 days into the cure period.

ADL's complaint alleged violations of the Missouri franchise act, the Illinois franchise act and the Missouri power equipment dealer act. The Illinois claim was dismissed early in the proceedings. ADL voluntarily withdrew a tortious interference claim, and, before trial, Nissan was granted summary judgment on ADL's claim under the Missouri franchise act and partial summary judgment on ADL's claim of unlawful termination under the Missouri power equipment dealer act.

Remaining for trial was the issue of whether Nissan had "good cause" to terminate, cancel or not renew the dealer agreement.

During the trial, ADL's counsel presented a theory that Nissan never wanted ADL to serve as the dealer in Missouri in the first place and claimed that Nissan wanted to use ADL's dealership as a stop gap until a regional dealer could take responsibility for the St. Louis market.

ADL also claimed the market-penetration requirements were unreasonable, given the hostility in the market, and that Nissan did not treat ADL consistently with other dealers.

Attorneys for Nissan argued that statutory good cause to terminate the agreement existed due to ADL's failure to comply with the essential and reasonable requirements of its agreement and said Nissan did not impose those requirements differently on similar dealers.

A Nissan attorney showed that ADL used an unsupported methodology to calculate its damages. He argued that lost profits would have been the proper measure of ADL's alleged damages, but ADL presented no evidence of lost profits and suffered no harm because it returned to serving as an authorised dealer for TCM, the manufacturer it represented before its tenure as a Nissan dealer.

Senior Judge Charles A Shaw presided in the federal court in St Louis for the eastern district of Missouri.
Rudolph A Dodorico, ADL president, was unavailable for comment.

Jeffrey Patterson and Adrienne Russell with the Dallas-based law firm of Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP defended Nissan.

Nissan is now an operation of Marengo, Illinois-based Americas unit of parent company UniCarriers Holdings Corp of Tokyo. UniCarriers Holdings is integrating and merging the operations of the Nissan, Barrett and TCM forklift brands and moving toward use of a unified UniCarriers forklift identification.
Forklift driver jailed over Singapore death
Forklift driver jailed over Singapore death 11 Apr 2024 - Singapore - 1 min read
Canadian concrete company fined over forklift accident
Canadian concrete company fined over forklift accident 14 Mar 2024 - London, ON, Canada - 1 min read
Horror week for forklift safety
Horror week for forklift safety 22 Feb 2024 - Fort Worth, TX, United States - 3 min read
Previously about:
Movers & Shakers News Story - 26 Jul 2012 - 1 min read
Nissan links for training, reports sales gain News Story - 5 Jul 2012 - Marengo, IL, United States - 2 min read
Nissan names Pinnacle winner News Story - 17 May 2012 - Marengo, IL, United States - 1 min read
Do you have materials handling news? Submit your news here
Inside The News
This week we explore the various energy sources available for forklifts and other material handling equipment that were showcased at LogiMAT in Stuttgart... Continue reading

PREMIUM business

Shenzhen Wellwit Robotics Co., Ltd
The Largest AMR/AGV ODM/OEM Manufacturer in China.

“I really enjoy your newsletter and share the articles with all my training team for industry currency. I also print and display specific articles on forklift safety and accidents on our notice board for all the learners who attend our training courses to read...”

Gavin Trim - CEO, High Risk Work Licence Assessor, Mechanical Handling Equipment Specialist - Nationwide Training

Thanks Gavin for sharing your experience with Forkliftaction

Words of support …

After advertising with Forkliftaction.com, we got many enquiries regarding interest to be our distributor. Mostly from Europe and USA but including a few in ASEAN. We feel that the advertisement was useful and good for market expansion.

Lawrence Xu, Assistant Sales Manager - Resonac Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.

Are you recruiting? Find your ideal candidate among a diverse range of materials handling professionals:

Forkliftaction's JOB MARKET

“I really enjoy your newsletter and share the articles with all my training team for industry currency. I also print and display specific articles on forklift safety and accidents on our notice board for all the learners who attend our training courses to read...”

Gavin Trim - CEO, High Risk Work Licence Assessor, Mechanical Handling Equipment Specialist - Nationwide Training

Thanks Gavin for sharing your experience with Forkliftaction

Inside The News
This week we explore the various energy sources available for forklifts and other material handling equipment that were showcased at LogiMAT in Stuttgart... Continue reading

Showcased in the Virtual Expo

Are you recruiting? Find your ideal candidate among a diverse range of materials handling professionals:

Forkliftaction's JOB MARKET

With LogiMAT 2024 wrapped up, Forkliftaction is the place to catch up on all the highlights and product news from the show.

See the exhibitor highlights in our LogiMAT gallery,

Read our exclusive three-part LogiMAT 2024 coverage:
- Safety front of mind at LogiMAT
- Many paths to automation at Logimat
- Lower emissions a major focus at LogiMAT