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Al Hewar Environmental & Public Health Establishment v. Southeast Ranch

November 8, 2011

AL HEWAR ENVIRONMENTAL & PUBLIC HEALTH ESTABLISHMENT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SOUTHEAST RANCH, LLC AND JOEL GUTIERREZ, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Daniel T. K. Hurley United States District Judge

AMENDED MEMORANDUM OPINION CONTAINING FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

THIS CASE involves a contract for the sale of hay between Al Hewar Environmental and Public Health Establishment ("Al Hewar"), the Plaintiff, and Southeast Ranch, LLC ("Southeast"), along with its principals Joel Gutierrez and Dagmara Cabrera, the Defendants. Cabrera was voluntarily dismissed from the action and the remaining Defendants were defaulted as to liability for failure to respond to the Complaint on April 14, 2011. Order Granting in Part Pl.'s Mot. for Default J. [DE # 27]. The Court then held an evidentiary hearing regarding damages on October 11, 2011. Pursuant to 52(a), the Court sets forth its findings of fact and conclusions of law below.

I. Findings of Fact

A. Background

1. Al Hewar is a United Arab Emirates ("U.A.E.") entity engaged in the business of supplying agricultural products to the government of Abu Dhabi, a constituent emirate of U.A.E.

2. Joel Gutierrez is the chief executive officer and a principal of Southeast.

3. On March 7, 2008, the Al Hewar entered into a contract with Southeast under which Southeast would deliver 5,000 tons of compressed hay at a price of $315.00 per metric ton for a total price of $1,575,000.00. Compl. Ex. 5 [DE # 1-5]. After some problems arose with delivery of this initial amount, the parties modified the contract on July 17, 2008 to require 16,400 tons at the same price of $315.00 per metric ton for a total price of $5,166,00.00. Compl. Ex. 6 [DE # 1-6].

4. As part of the contract, Al Hewar paid a down payment of $787,500.00 to Southeast Ranch, which Al Hewar financed with a loan form a local bank. Compl. ¶ 15 [DE # 1].

5. Al Hewar had also entered into a contract with Abu Dhabi to sell the hay it received from Southeast Ranch for approximately $415.00 per ton. The expected net profit per ton after expenses was $100.00 per ton for a total net profit of $1,640,00.00. Under this contract, Abu Dhabi required Al Hewar to procure a performance bond in the amount of $452,000.00. Post-Hearing Brief, at 2-3 [DE # 29].

B. Breach of Contract

6. Al Hewar never received any hay from Southeast Ranch pursuant to the contract. Compl. ¶ 25 [DE # 1].

7. As a result, Al Hewar was forced to cancel the contract with Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi has refused to release the $452,000.00 bond. Post-Hearing Brief, at 3 [DE # 29].

8. Moreover, in the years leading up to the instant contract, Al Hewar had routinely entered into contracts with Abu Dhabi for the sale of hay and expected to renew the contract with Abu Dhabi in subsequent years. However, since Al Hewar canceled its contract with Abu Dhabi in 2008, Abu Dhabi has refused to engage in hay business transactions with Al Hewar. Id.

9. Additionally, as a result of Defendant's breach, Al Hewar defaulted on the loan by which it procured the $787,500.00 down ...


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