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CRST Specialized Transportation Inc v. Five Star Logistics, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division

March 6, 2017

CRST SPECIALIZED TRANSPORTATION, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
FIVE STAR LOGISTICS, INC., Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JAMES T. MOODY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. BACKGROUND

         On January 27, 2016, plaintiff CRST Specialized Transportation, Inc. (“CRST”) filed suit against defendant Five Star Logistics, LLC. (DE # 1.) The following day, CRST filed an amended complaint bringing claims against Five Star Logistics, Inc. (“FSL”) for breach of contract, account stated, and quantum meruit. (DE # 7.) A summons returned executed by plaintiff indicates that FSL was served February 1, 2016. (DE # 10.) By rule, FSL had 21 days after service of the summons and complaint to file a responsive pleading. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(a)(1)(A)(i). To date, FSL has not filed any responsive pleading or otherwise appeared in this case. At CRST's request, the Clerk entered FSL's default on March 10, 2016. (DE # 13.) CRST filed this motion for default judgment on April 15, 2016 (DE # 14), to which FSL has not responded. CRST seeks damages in the amount of $233, 380.61 plus reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.[1] (DE # 23.)

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The court may enter default judgment against a party against whom affirmative relief is sought when it fails to plead or otherwise defend. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2). “The grant or denial of a motion for the entry of a default judgment lies within the sound discretion of the trial court . . . .” Dundee Cement Co. v. Howard Pipe & Concrete Prods. Inc., 722 F.2d 1319, 1322 (7th Cir. 1983). If the court determines that the defendant is in default, all well-pleaded allegations of the complaint, except those relating to the amount of damages, will be taken as true. Id. at 1323.

         III. FACTS

         Based on FSL's default, the court takes the allegations in the amended complaint as true. The affidavit of CRST's president, submitted with the motion for default judgment, further establishes the veracity of the allegations made in the amended complaint.

         On or about May 2014, the parties reached an agreement in which CRST would provide specialized transportation services to FSL in exchange for payment from FSL. (DE # 7 ¶ 7.) When it required freight hauling services, FSL would call Customized Transportation Solutions (“CTS”), a sales agent, to order the services. (Id. ¶¶ 2, 8.) CTS would then alert CRST who would provide the freight hauling services. (Id. ¶ 8.) When CRST obtained a proof of delivery, it would send an invoice to FSL for payment. (Id.)

         FSL never objected to any of these invoices or to any of the deliveries made by CRST. (Id. ¶¶ 10, 11.) However, FSL failed to pay a portion of the invoices. (Id. ¶ 18.) Therefore, from CRST's perspective, FSL has failed to perform its obligations under the agreement. (Id. ¶ 28.) CRST has also delivered statements to FSL indicating the remaining balance owed by FSL. (Id. ¶¶ 16, 32.) FSL never objected to those statements. (Id. ¶ 17.)

         IV.LEGAL CONCLUSIONS

         A. Jurisdiction

         The court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because the parties are citizens of different states and the amount in controversy is greater than $75, 000.00. Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2). Personal jurisdiction is established over defendant due to defendant's minimum contacts with Indiana (the dealings with CRST).

         B. Breach of Contract

         CRST first brings a breach of contract claim, alleging that FSL failed to perform its payment obligations pursuant to the parties' agreement. Under Indiana law, [2] the essential elements of a breach of contract action are: (1) the existence of a contract, (2) the defendant's breach thereof, and (3) damages. Guardian ...


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