AKRON—A bitter contract dispute between Goodyear and one of its former wholesaler distributors has led both to file breach-of-contract suits against each other.
Goodyear filed its suit against Laurel, Miss.-based Robison Tire Co. Inc. Aug. 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, seeking nearly $6.3 million plus interest, attorneys' fees and court costs from Robison Tire on allegations of breach of contract, action on account and unjust enrichment.
The same day, Goodyear won its motion to have Robison Tire's breach-of-contract lawsuit against Goodyear moved to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi from a Mississippi chancery court.
Goodyear further moved to have Robison Tire's case moved to the Ohio court, a motion Robison Tire is opposing.
In its complaint originally filed Aug. 10 in the chancery court, Robison Tire sought not only damages in an unspecified amount against Goodyear, but also a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction to stop a foreclosure action against Robison Tire undertaken by Goodyear and The First Bancshares Inc., the lien holder in the foreclosure.
According to Goodyear and Robison Tire filings, Goodyear and Robison Tire had a wholesaler distribution agreement (WDA) with each other.
“Goodyear advanced Robison tires on an open account line of credit,” said the Robison complaint. “Robison would sell the tires advanced to them to local retailers for a profit, and then pay funds to Goodyear to satisfy the existing line of credit.”
Among the dealers Robison Tire supplied with Goodyear tires was Tuscaloosa Tire & Service Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala., according to the complaint. (Tuscaloosa Tire is not a party in any of the complaints.)
When Tuscaloosa Tire had a dispute with Goodyear over money, Robison Tire agreed to make a payment to Goodyear on Tuscaloosa Tire's behalf, according to the Robison complaint.
Goodyear required Robison Tire to sign both a promissory note and a deed of trust to memorialize the conditions and terms of the payment, it said.
Although the note only required payment of less than $1.1 million, the deed of trust secured up to $4 million, the Robison complaint said.
In addition, Goodyear agreed both orally and in writing to renew its WDA with Robison Tire for two years beginning in January 2015, according to the Robison complaint.
“In fact, Goodyear worked with Robison to expand their territory into the state of Tennessee,” it said. “This was done at Goodyear's request, as it did not have adequate wholesale distribution dealers in Tennessee.”