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Germain Real Estate Co., LLC v. HCH Toyota, LLC

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

February 6, 2015

Germain Real Estate Company, LLC; GM Enterprises, LLC, Plaintiffs - Appellants
v.
HCH Toyota, LLC; Simmons First National Bank, Defendants - Appellees

Submitted December 10, 2014.

Appeals from United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas - Fayetteville.

For Germain Real Estate Company, LLC, GM Enterprises, LLC (13-3492, 13-3723), Plaintiffs - Appellants: Joel Cape, Fayetteville, AR; Timothy James Cullen, Little Rock, AR.

For HCH Toyota, LLC (13-3492, 13-3723), Defendants - Appellees: Seth Haines, Fayetteville, AR; Clifford W. Plunkett, Fayetteville, AR.

For Simmons First National Bank, Defendant - Appellee (13-3492): Jess Askew, III, Ashley Welch Hudson, Andrew King, Little Rock, AR.

For Simmons First National Bank, Defendant - Appellee (13-3723): Jess Askew, III, Ashley Welch Hudson, Andrew King, Little Rock, AR; Seth Haines, Clifford W. Plunkett, Fayetteville, AR.

Before WOLLMAN, COLLOTON, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 693

WOLLMAN, Circuit Judge.

Germain Real Estate Company, LLC (Germain), and GM Enterprises, LLC (GM Enterprises), filed suit in federal district court against HCH Toyota, LLC (HCH Toyota), and Metropolitan National Bank (Metropolitan), alleging claims related to breach of contract. The district court dismissed[1] the complaint, holding that Germain and GM Enterprises were precluded from bringing the action because a state court already had decided the issue underlying the claims alleged in their federal complaint. The district court awarded attorneys' fees to HCH Toyota and Metropolitan. We affirm.

I.

In May 2005, GM Enterprises entered into a lease agreement with H2 Holdings, LLC (H2 Holdings), for certain real property in Benton County, Arkansas. Paragraph 26 of the lease agreement granted options to purchase the property to GM

Page 694

Enterprises affiliates Ken Morrand and Germain. The lease agreement provided that if Morrand did not exercise his option within a certain period of time following the fifth anniversary of the commencement date of ...


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