Wescott Agri-Products, Inc. v. Sterling State Bank, No. 11-2279 (8th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Wescott Agri-Products, Inc., a Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA)-licensed wholesale supplier of perishable agricultural commodities, sold produce to a company that later ceased business operations after Sterling State Bank seized the company's assets because it failed to make scheduled loan payments. Wescott demanded payment from the bank, claiming the bank had seized assets subject to trust under the PACA, but the bank refused. Wescott sued the bank, asserting various claims, including violations of the PACA and a conversion claim. The district court granted the bank summary judgment on Wescott's conversion claim and summary judgment in favor of Wescott on its PACA claim. Wescott then appealed the district court's denial of attorney fees on costs. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to award Wescott attorney fees and costs, as the fees were excessive and unreasonable, and Wescott's unprofessional conduct in the case did not warrant an award of fees.
Court Description: Civil case - Attorneys' fees. The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying an award of attorneys' fees in this action under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.