Adams v. Tractor & Equipment Co., Inc.Annotate this Case
Kenneth Adams appealed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Tractor & Equipment Co., Inc. ("TEC"). Adams and James "Buddy" Money are the only two members of Waste Two Energy, LLC, a company that operated two landfills in Mobile. In early 2011, Money, the managing member of Waste Two, had discussions with representatives of TEC, a company that repairs, rents, and sells heavy equipment, about servicing heavy equipment used by Waste Two in the operation of its business. Waste Two provided a "credit application and agreement" to TEC; Money and Adams were listed as the "officers, partners, or owners" of Waste Two. Money signed the agreement as the "principal of the credit applicant or a personal guarantor;" The names "James Money" and "Ken Adams" were handwritten on two lines below a guaranty provision that were each labeled "Guarantor." Beginning in March 2011 and continuing through July 2011, TEC performed various services on equipment owned by Waste Two. At some point after TEC had performed a substantial amount of work on Waste Two's equipment, a dispute arose between Waste Two and TEC over the amount of money Waste Two owed TEC for the services it had provided. Waste Two filed a complaint in the Mobile Circuit Court, asserting claims of breach of contract and misrepresentation against TEC. TEC filed a motion for summary judgment with respect to its third-party claims against Adams and Money. The court granted TEC's motion. Adams moved for reconsideration, arguing that he did not sign the guaranty to TEC, and that he should not have been held responsible in TEC's claims against Money and Waste Two. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that a genuine issue of material fact existed with regard to whether a valid guaranty bound Adams to TEC's alleged debt. Because an affidavit was properly before the trial court, and because the court had no basis for disregarding it, the Supreme Court held the trial court erred in entering summary judgment in favor of TEC on its breach-of-guaranty claim against Adams.