BP Products North America, Inc. v. Stanley, Jr., No. 10-2097 (4th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
BP appealed a district court order granting summary judgment in favor of Charles V. Stanley, Jr., and his business (defendants), in BP's action seeking to enforce a restrictive covenant in a deed. BP also appealed the district court's award of attorneys' fees and costs. The court held that the district court erred in finding the Petroleum Restriction (PR), in the Special Warranty Deed that was attached to the Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) at issue, was overbroad and unenforceable where the PR did not prohibit Stanley from operating a non-BP-branded vehicle repair business on his property so long as the business did not also sell non-BP-branded gasoline. The court also concluded that the PR's prohibition of the sale of certain enumerated items was too inconsequential to invalidate the entire PR. Therefore, the PR on the whole "afford[s] a fair protection" to BP's interest without being "so large as to interfere with the interests of the public." Therefore, the court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants, vacated the fee and cost award, remanding for further proceedings.