Breach-of-contract verdict for Birdsfoot Golf Club is upheld on appeal

By Carrie Salls | Oct 19, 2018

HARRISBURG – The Superior Court of Pennsylvania on Oct. 10 upheld a jury verdict in a breach-of-contact case involving Lindsay Golf Group Ltd., which does business as Birdsfoot Golf Club, and the E-Z-GO Division of Textron Inc. 

The Superior Court opinion said Birdsfoot Golf Club began experiencing issues with the golf carts it was renting from G.C. Supply, which was later purchased by E-Z-GO.

Specifically, the Superior Court ruling said Birdsfoot alleged that in 2012, “G.C. Supply had not performed any winter maintenance. As a result, many carts broke down on opening day. Carts were inoperable due to parts sticking (e.g. starters, brakes and accelerators) and [parts] were falling off them.”

Birdsfoot claimed that “these problems persisted throughout the 2012 golf season.”

Superior Court Judge Deborah Kunselman   PA Courts

As a result, when G.C. Supply decided in June 2012 to sell its business to E-Z-GO, Birdsfoot told E-Z-GO that it planned to look for a new company from which to rent golf carts.

However, E-Z-GO told Birdsfoot that it was required to comply with the assumed cart rental agreement it held with G.C. Supply. In addition, Birdsfoot said E-Z-GO claimed that it would fix the issues with the golf carts. That agreement was added to the lease in March 2013.

“Despite these assurances, however, Birdsfoot’s problems worsened during the 2013 golf season,” the Superior Court ruling said. “E-Z-GO repeatedly failed to adhere to the terms of the lease and addendum. E-Z-GO did not provide consistently the requisite number of working golf carts in a timely fashion.”

Because of the continued issues with E-Z-GO and following attempts to contact E-Z-GO regarding termination of the amended agreement, Birdsfoot entered a contract with a new company in August 2013 that paid Birdsfoot $72,000 to pay off the amounts estimated to be owed to E-Z-GO and offered to provide brand new golf carts.

E-Z-GO subsequently filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Birdsfoot, but a jury in the Court of Common Pleas of Lawrence County ruled in Birdsfoot’s favor.

In the opinion, Superior Court Judge Deborah Kunselman said E-Z-GO violated the amended lease agreement, giving Birdsfoot the right to withhold payment and sign a new rental deal with another company.

“Although Birdsfoot successfully negotiated a new lease and benefitted financially therefrom, it was justified in terminating the lease with E-Z-GO,” Kunselman wrote.

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