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Cent. Va. Aviation, Inc. v. North Am. Flight Servs., Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

May 15, 2014

Central Virginia Aviation, Inc., Plaintiff,
v.
North American Flight Services, Inc., Defendant

For Central Virginia Aviation, Inc., Plaintiff: Michael Wayne Lee, LEAD ATTORNEY, Lee & Piracci PLC, Colonial Heights, VA.

For North American Flight Services, Inc., Defendant: William Hunter Old, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kaufman & Canoles PC (Williamsburg), Williamsburg, VA.

Page 626

MEMORANDUM OPINION (GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS)

Henry E. Hudson, United States District Judge.

This matter involves an alleged breach of contract and purported tortious conduct related to a contract for the sale of an airplane on eBay. Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) (ECF Nos. 3, 5), filed on April 21, 2014 and April 24, 2014 [1] is before the Court. The matter has been fully briefed. The Court will dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the Court, and argument would not aid the decisional process. For the reasons stated herein, the Motion to Dismiss will be granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), this Court draws " all reasonable inferences arising from the proof, and resolve[s] all factual disputes, in the plaintiff's favor." Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Akzo,

Page 627

N.V., 2 F.3d 56, 60 (4th Cir. 1993) .Viewed through this lens, the facts are as follows.

Central Virginia Aviation, Inc. (" Plaintiff" ) " is a Virginia Corporation with its principal business location in the Commonwealth of Virginia." (Compl. at ¶ 1, ECF No. 1-1.) It " is engaged in the buying, selling, and leasing of aircraft." ( Id. ) North American Flight Services, Inc. (" Defendant" ) " is a New York corporation with its principal business location in the State of New York." ( Id. at ¶ 2.) It " is engaged in the business of aviation services, including the buying, selling, and leasing of aircraft." ( Id. ) Plaintiff alleges jurisdiction pursuant to Virginia's long-arm statute, Va. Code § 8.01-328.1. ( Id. at ¶ 3.)

" On January 13, 2014, Defendant placed a Citation II airplane up for auction" on eBay. ( Id. at ¶ 4.) " Plaintiff placed the last and highest bid for the airplane, namely $125,100 prior to the auctions [sic] close on January 18, 2014." ( Id. at ¶ 6.) After the close of the auction, Dennis Harrup, IV (" Harrup" ), President of Plaintiff Central Virginia Aviation, Inc., contacted Defendant's employee Jon Zilka (" Zilka" ). ( Id. at ¶ 7.) Harrup and Zilka arranged " for Harrup to inspect the airplane and confirm the accuracy of Defendant's representations concerning the condition and component times in the auction listing." ( Id. at ¶ 8.) Plaintiff made a deposit toward the purchase of the aircraft in an escrow account. ( Id. at ¶ 9.) " Due to inclement weather and Plaintiff's conflicting schedule, the contractual requirement of payment within seven days was necessarily waived by agreement of the parties." ( Id. at ¶ 10.)

On February 15, 2014, Harrup traveled " to Defendant's location in New York State where the airplane is located, conducted an inspection of the airplane, . . . and met with Zilka." ( Id. at ¶ 11.) After the inspection, " Harrup and Zilka modified the contract of sale to resolve issues concerning the condition of the aircraft." ( Id. at ¶ 12.)

" On February 17, 2014, Plaintiff entered into a contract for the sale of the aircraft to Plaintiff's customer Richard Albert [(" Albert" )] for $195,000." ( Id. at ¶ 13.) Plaintiff alleges that " [u]pon information and belief, Defendant, after learning of the contract of sale between Plaintiff and Albert . . . breached the contract with Plaintiff so as to allow the aircraft to be sold to Albert directly." ( Id. at ¶ 14.) " On February 21, 2014, Zilka advised Plaintiff that over the past three days Defendant had received two other offers . . . and that Plaintiff had until the close of business on Wednesday, February 23, 2014 to pay [the increased price of] $170,000 for the airplane or he would sell it, 'to the next guy in line.'" ( Id. at ¶ 15.)

Plaintiff alleges in Count I that Defendant breached its contract when it " refused to sell the subject airplane to Plaintiff except at an increased purchase price." ( Id. at ¶ 20.) Plaintiff alleges in Count II that Defendant tortiously interfered with Plaintiffs contract with Albert when Defendant " had knowledge of this business expectancy . . . [and] intentionally . . . laid plans to deprive Plaintiff of the valuable property right that the contract with Albert represented and to thereby enrich Defendant." ( Id. at ¶ ¶ 25-26.) In Count III, Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant tortiously interfered with business expectancy and/or prospective economic advantage when Defendant interfered with Plaintiff's business expectancy with Albert that " presented ...


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