Thursday, February 7, 2013

Case v. State Farm Mutual Automotive Insurance Co. case brief

Case v. State Farm Mutual Automotive Insurance Co.
294 F.2d 676

SYNOPSIS: Appellant challenged judgment of the trial court, which dismissed appellant's suit against appellees related for their termination of their insurance agency contract with appellant.

FACTS:
- Appellant was an insurance agent for appellees, working under a contract allowing any party to cancel the relationship for any reason.
-Appellant alleged that, subsequent to his candidacy for county supervisor, appellees began issuing unreasonable directives on how he was to run his insurance agency.
-Eventually, appellees terminated the contract, and appellant sued.

HOLDING:
Examining appellant's complaint, court held appellant's action was based solely on wrongful termination of the contract; however, court held appellees were within their contractual rights in ending the employment relationship.

ANALYSIS:
Although appellant argued the complaint stated an action for wrongful interference with his performance under the contract, court held that action was not within the complaint itself and, as appellant had a right to amend the complaint earlier, court refused to read the claim into appellant's pleading. Thus, court held trial court correctly dismissed the case.

RULES:
-A complaint should not be dismissed if it charges facts upon which a court could possibly grant relief. However, it is not the duty of the trial court or the appellate court to create a claim which appellant has not spelled out in his pleading.
-An appellant has an absolute right to amend his complaint once, if no responsive pleading has been filed.

CONCLUSION: Judgment was affirmed, as appellees' termination of their contract with appellant was permitted under the contract's terms.

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