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Plasticware, LLC v. Flint Hills Resources

March 22, 2012

PLASTICWARE, LLC, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FLINT HILLS RESOURCES, LP, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kenneth M. Karas, District Judge:

OPINION AND ORDER

Plasticware, LLC ("Plaintiff") alleges that Flint Hills Resources, LP ("Defendant") is liable for breach of contract, tortious interference with business relations, and tortious interference with contract. Defendant moves to dismiss, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the tortious interference with business relations claim and the tortious interference with contract claim. For the reasons stated herein, the Motion is granted.

I. Background

A. Factual History

For purposes of deciding this Motion, the Court assumes the following allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint to be true. Plaintiff and Defendant have had a business relationship since November 2009. (Compl. ¶ 7.) In that time Plaintiff, which produces deli containers, has purchased "hundreds of thousands of dollars" of polypropylene products from Defendant. (Id. ¶¶ 5-9.)

On June 16, 2010, Plaintiff placed four orders with Defendant, totaling 800,000 pounds of resin (the "June Orders"). (Id. ¶ 15.) Defendant shipped the first order via rail on June 17, 2010, which Plaintiff was to receive on July 1, 2010. (Id. ¶ 16.) Plaintiff alleges that on July 1, 2010, Defendant "maliciously instructed" the railroad company, CSX, not to deliver the goods to Plaintiff, but instead to hold them at the terminal, and then ship them elsewhere. (Id. ¶ 19.) Upon learning this, Plaintiff contacted Defendant and demanded delivery of the order being held, as well as the other three orders. (Id. ¶¶ 20-21.) Plaintiff alleges that it informed Defendant "that if the deliveries were not made it would cause huge losses to [Plaintiff]'s business as all its customers were relying on the shipments." (Id. ¶ 22.)

Defendant refused to deliver the June Orders. (Id. ¶ 23.) Plaintiff alleges that as a result, it "had to mitigate and suffered excessive damages due to the loss of production and [its] inability to market the products and provide the containers," because it had already "considered the shipped goods as part of its inventory . . . and promised its customers it would supply the goods." (Id. ¶¶ 24-25.)*fn1

Plaintiff brings three claims against Defendant in the instant action. First, Plaintiff claims that Defendant breached its contract with Plaintiff for the June Orders. (Id. ¶ 33.) Second, Plaintiff claims that Defendant tortiously interfered with Plaintiff's existing business relations when it refused to deliver the June Orders. (Id. ¶ 37.) Third, Plaintiff claims that Defendant tortiously interfered with Plaintiff's contracts with its customers when it refused to deliver the June Orders. (Id. ¶¶ 41-43.)

B. Procedural History

Plaintiff filed its Complaint on August 6, 2010, in Supreme Court of the State of New York, Rockland County. (Notice of Removal ¶ 2 (Dkt. No. 1).) The case was removed without opposition to this Court on September 9, 2010, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(a) and 1441. (Id. ¶ 9.) Defendant served its Motion to Dismiss on Plaintiff on January 7, 2011, and the Motion was fully submitted on March 11, 2011. (Dkt. No. 20.) The Court conducted a status conference on March 15, 2012 to confirm that it had subject matter jurisdiction over the case.*fn2

II. Discussion

A. Standard of Review

1. Rule 12(b)(6)

"On a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss a complaint, the court must accept a plaintiff's factual allegations as true and draw all reasonable inferences in [the plaintiff's] favor." Gonzalez v. Caballero, 572 F. Supp. 2d 463, 466 (S.D.N.Y. 2008); see also Famous Horse Inc. v. 5th Ave. Photo Inc., 624 F.3d 106, 108 (2d Cir. 2010) ("We review the district court's grant of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss de novo, accepting all factual claims in the complaint as true, and drawing all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor."). "In adjudicating a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a district court must confine its consideration to facts stated on the face of the complaint, in documents appended to the complaint or incorporated in the ...


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