Bral Corp. v. CMN Comps. Inc., No. 07 C 7029, 2008 WL 2062494 (N.D. Ill. May 13, 2008) (Gettleman, J.).
Judge Gettleman denied defendant CMN’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), (6) & (7) motion to dismiss. Plaintiff Bral alleged that it was the exclusive supplier, with limited exceptions, for certain cartridges third party Johnstown used in its patented MegaFlow Door System for coal-carrying railroad cars. Despite knowledge of the exclusive relationship, CMN allegedly offered to provide Johnstown the cartridges at reduced prices, thereby interfering with Bral’s contract with Johnstown.
First, CMN argued that the claim should be dismissed because it was not ripe until Bral resolved its breach of contract dispute with Johnstown. But it was sufficient that Bral pled a breach. Bral need not sue Johnstown to make its claim, it just had to prove the agreement was breached.
Second, CMN argued that the claim should be dismissed for failure to join necessary party Johnstown pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 19(b). But the Court held that Johnstown was not a required party. The case could be resolved without Johnstown. And neither Johnstown nor CMN would be exposed to multiple inconsistent judgments without Johnstown. Furthermore, Johnstown had shown no interest in being joined. And the case’s outcome would not affect Johnstown’s ability to defend itself in subsequent cases.
Third, the Court held that Bral met notice pleading standards for each element of its claim. Bral was not required to plead specific facts providing that CMN’s actions were "wrongful," just that CMN’s actions were wrongful.