VICI Racing LLC v. T-Mobile USA Inc., No. 13-1615 (3d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
VICI, a sports car racing team, sought T-Mobile’s sponsorship for the 2009-2011 Le Mans racing seasons. The companies entered into an agreement that required VICI to field one T-Mobile-sponsored racecar during the 2009 season and two during each of the 2010 and 2011 seasons and required VICI to display T- Mobile’s logo. The agreement provides that “VICI grants to [T-Mobile] the right to be the exclusive wireless carrier supplying wireless connectivity for the Porsche, Audi and VW telematics programs.” The Agreement had a force majeure clause, a severability clause, and a “Limitation of Liabilities.” VICI worked with T-Mobile to secure telematics business from VW, Audi, and Porsche. In July 2009, T-Mobile’s sponsored racecar sustained damage from an accident and was not able to race while undergoing repairs. On January 5, 2010, VICI sent a notice of default, indicating that T-Mobile had failed to pay $7 million due under the agreement. On January 7, T-Mobile sent a letter terminating the Agreement, stating that VICI made a material representation that VICI had authority to bind Audi, VW and that VICI failed, without justification or notice, to race at a key event where T-Mobile hosted business guests. The district court awarded VICI $7 million in damages. The Third Circuit affirmed the award of $7, but vacated with regard to VICI’s damages resulting from T- Mobile’s failure to make the 2011 payment. On remand, the court should consider an award of attorney’s fees to VICI in light of its reassessment of the 2011 damages issue.