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ARTICLE ID 31490

$________ - BREACH OF CONTRACT - SALE OF BUSINESS - INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE WITH ADVANTAGEOUS BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP - CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT VIOLATIONS ALLEGED ENTITLING PLAINTIFF TO AWARD OF MULTIPLE DAMAGES.

Suffolk County, Massachusetts

This breach of contract action was brought by the plaintiffs former owners of a small computer software business, who sold the business to the defendant Compuserve, the plaintiff’s largest customer. The plaintiffs contended that the defendant breached the agreed upon contract of sale by failing to perform an accounting four months after the purchase and sale, and by failing to pay the plaintiffs profits to which they were entitled as would have been reflected by an accounting had one been performed. The plaintiffs additionally contended that the defendant intentionally interfered with their advantageous business relationship with another company, McDonnell Douglas, by luring McDonnell Douglas into doing business with Compuserve instead of the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs’ cause of action included a Consumer Protection 93A claim based upon the evidence allegedly demonstrating a blatant disrMcDonnell Douglas was to pay the plaintiffs for the same license.

The plaintiff presented testimony from two fact witnesses, sales people who did work for Compuserve, who related that they were told by the defendant’s representatives that the defendant had no intention of doing an accounting on behalf of the plaintiffs and that Compuserve intended to make every effort to collect the accounts receivable owed on the pre-purchase accounts originally obtained by the plaintiffs. The plaintiff contended that the p 7 3 defendant’s failure to do an accounting as required by the contract, constituted a breach of the contract.

The plaintiff additionally contended that the defendant further breached the contract by contacting McDonnel Douglas, the plaintiffs’ largest remaining client following the purchase and sale of the business and offering to sell McDonnel Douglas the license which the plaintiffs were offering to sell to McDonnel Douglas. The plaintiff alleged that this was done in specific violation of the terms of the contract which stated that the defendant agreed to allow the plaintiffs to retain their rights to deal with McDonnel Douglas.

The plaintiffs contended that the manner in which the defendant dealt with the plaintiffs following the sale of the business, and the blatant nature of the defonomist: Richard Weckstein from Brandeis University.

Defendant’s expert mechanical engineer: Edward M. Caulfield, Chief Operating Officer of Packer Engineering, Inc. in Naperville, Ill.

Jennifer Chapman, Administratrix of the Estate of Russell M.

Chapman, Jr. vs. Baker Material Handling Corporation. Case no.

91-________-RGS; Judge Richard G. Stearns.

Attorneys for defendant: David A. Barry and William L. Boesch of Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen in Boston, Ma.

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