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G&K Servs. Co., Inc. v. Bill's Super Foods, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

September 5, 2014

G& K Services Co., Inc., Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
Bill's Super Foods, Inc., Defendant - Appellant, Billy Orr, Defendant

Submitted May 23, 2014.

Page 798

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas - Jonesboro.

For G& K Services Co., Inc., Plaintiff - Appellee: Monte D. Estes, Wm. Dean Overstreet, DOVER & DIXON, Little Rock, AR.

For Bill's Super Foods, Inc., Defendant - Appellant: Hunter Jackson Hanshaw, Jonesboro, AR.

Before BYE, COLLOTON, and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 799

COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.

G& K Services sued Bill's Super Foods for breach of contract and sought liquidated damages. Bill's Super Foods counterclaimed, asserting common-law claims and a violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. After a trial, the jury awarded G& K Services $50,837.92 on its breach of contract claim. The jury found in favor of G& K Services on Bill's Super Foods' common-law counterclaims, but returned a verdict for Bill's Super Foods on its deceptive trade practices counterclaim, and awarded Bill's $25,418.96 in damages. The district court then awarded G& K Services $82,766.50 in attorney's fees, and denied Bill's Super Foods' motion for attorney's fees. Bill's Super Foods appeals the district court's rulings. We affirm in part, but remand for further proceedings on the claim for fees under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

I.

G& K Services, a Minnesota corporation with its principal place of business in Minnesota, sued Bill's Super Foods, an Arkansas corporation with its principal place of business in Arkansas, seeking liquidated damages. The district court's jurisdiction was premised on diversity of citizenship. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. G& K alleged that Bill's breached a contract under which G& K was to provide Bill's with certain textile products and services on an exclusive basis. Bill's counterclaimed, alleging that G& K breached the contract, engaged in fraud, suppression, and deceit, and violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Ark. Code § 4-88-113.

In September 2009, the district court granted G& K's motion for summary judgment on its breach of contract claim, but ruled that a trial was necessary to determine the amount of liquidated damages. The court granted in part and denied in part G& K's motion for summary judgment on Bill's counterclaims.

After a trial in May 2013, a jury awarded G& K $50,837.92 in liquidated damages on its breach of contract claim. The jury found in favor of G& K on Bill's common-law counterclaims. On Bill's ...


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