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A&M Farm Center, Inc. v. AGCO Finance, LLC

Indiana Court of Appeals
921 N.E.2d 54 (2010)


Facts

Dennis Leek, manager of A&M Farm Center, Inc. (A&M) (defendant), a retail company that leased and sold John Deere farm equipment to customers nationwide, signed the majority of leasing contracts on behalf of A&M entered into by its customers and AGCO Finance, LLC (AGCO) (plaintiff), the finance company. During his employment with A&M, Leek started another company, Cable Tech, Inc. (Cable Tech), which entered into three agreements with A&M to lease equipment financed by AGCO. Each lease contained a full recourse clause requiring A&M to pay any outstanding amounts owed to AGCO upon default by Cable Tech. Subsequently, Cable Tech defaulted on the agreement and AGCO declared all amounts immediately due in full from A&M. Louis Abbett, president of A&M, who had no knowledge of Leek’s actions, refused to pay AGCO. AGCO filed suit against A&M, Abbett, and Cable Tech. AGCO obtained a default judgment against Cable Tech. AGCO then filed a motion for summary judgment against A&M and Abbett, arguing that A&M was liable to AGCO under the full recourse agreements and that Leek had actual, apparent, or inherent authority to enter into the Cable Tech agreements. The trial court granted AGCO’s motion against A&M, but dismissed it as to Abbett. A&M appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Barnes, J.)

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