The Grandma Gebhard Co. v. Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise

No. MPTC-CV-GC-2013-174 (2017)

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The Grandma Gebhard Co. v. Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court
No. MPTC-CV-GC-2013-174 (2017)

Facts

In 2007, the Grandma Gebhard Company (Gebhard) (plaintiff), a Minnesota corporation, contracted to provide frozen yogurt, dispensing machines, and trademark rights to the Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise (gaming enterprise) (defendant). The terms of the contract required the gaming enterprise to buy at least 5,000 cases of yogurt each year and exclusively distribute Gebhard’s frozen yogurt. The gaming enterprise purchased less than the required 5,000 cases in each of the contract years. In September 2011, the gaming enterprise verbally notified Gebhard that it was not going to buy any more cases. Although purchases slowed in the following months, the gaming enterprise did not stop purchasing until January 2012. On May 24, 2013, Gebhard filed suit against the gaming enterprise for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The gaming enterprise moved for summary judgment on grounds that the claims were barred under the one-year statute of limitations. The gaming enterprise contended that its repeated failure to purchase 5,000 cases between 2007 and 2012 amounted to a material breach sufficient to trigger the limitations period and thus Gebhard's claims were barred with respect to any breach that occurred before May 25, 2012—one year preceding the filing of the complaint. Also and alternatively, the gaming enterprise asserted anticipatory repudiation, claiming the statute began to run when it informed Gebhard it was finished purchasing in September 2011.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (O’Connell, J.)

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