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AIRCRAFT GUAR. CORP. v. STRATO-LIFT

January 26, 1998

AIRCRAFT GUARANTY CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
STRATO-LIFT, INC. and KENNETH F. GOODRICH, d/b/a K. F. GOODRICH ASSOCIATES, INC., Defendants, v. BERNARD VAN MILDERS and BERNARD VAN MILDERS, b.v., Defendants on the Counterclaim



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOYNER

 JOYNER, J.

 January 26, 1998

 Presently before the Court is defendants', Strato-Lift, Inc. ("SLI") and Kenneth F. Goodrich d/b/a K. F. Goodrich Associates, Inc.'s ("Goodrich"), motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 on plaintiff's, Aircraft Guaranty Corp.'s ("AGC"), remaining breach of contract claim, for which plaintiff seeks to recover damages under the Uniform Commercial Code ("UCC"), 13 P.S. ┬ž 1101, et. seq. For the following reasons, defendants' motion is denied.

 BACKGROUND

 The facts regarding the negotiations resulting in the contract for the sale of the 1993 Cessna Citation II, Serial Number 552-0725 (the "725 Aircraft") at issue in this case and the identity of the parties involved in this transaction have been set forth in detail in two previous opinions of this Court, thus familiarity with these facts is assumed. See Aircraft Guaranty Corp. v. Strato-Lift, Inc. and Kenneth F. Goodrich d/b/a K.F. Goodrich Associates, Inc., 974 F. Supp. 468 (E.D. Pa. 1997)(motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction) and 951 F. Supp. 73 (E.D. Pa. 1997)(motion to dismiss the claim for attorney's fees). Only the facts pertinent to the breach of the contract and any pertinent procedural history will be discussed here.

 According to the December 27, 1995 letter agreement among the parties, which forms the contract for sale at issue, plaintiff agreed to purchase the 725 Aircraft provided that the aircraft successfully complete a prepurchase inspection. The aircraft was transported to the AMR Combs facility in Birmingham, Alabama, supposedly a "disinterested" inspection site, to undergo this prepurchase inspection. While the aircraft was at this facility, a dispute erupted between the parties as to the scope of the inspection and as to the nature of the relationship between plaintiff and this facility. *fn1" Prior to resolution of the dispute, defendants removed the aircraft from the Alabama facility and relocated it to another facility in Pennsylvania. Following completion of the inspection and necessary repairs, which were performed at the Pennsylvania facility, defendants offered the aircraft to plaintiff at a higher price.

 Plaintiff did not accept defendants' higher offer, nor did plaintiff purchase another aircraft in place of the 725 Aircraft. Instead, in April, 1996, plaintiff filed a complaint in a Texas state court seeking specific performance or, in the alternative, damages for breach of contract. The action was removed to federal court in the Southern District of Texas and ultimately transferred to this Court. See Aircraft Guaranty, 974 F. Supp. 468 at 470-71 (discussing the initial filing, the removal, and the transfer to this district). Since initiation of these proceedings, defendants have sold the aircraft to another buyer, and plaintiff has maintained this action for damages resulting from the breach of contract.

 Both parties have assumed that Pennsylvania law applies to this transaction; thus it is unnecessary for this Court to engage in a conflicts of law analysis. *fn2"

 I. Summary Judgment Standard

 Summary judgment is appropriate where the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, reveal no genuine issue of material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). Our responsibility is not to resolve disputed issues of fact, but to determine whether there exist any factual issues to be tried. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-49, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). The presence of "a mere scintilla of evidence" in the nonmovant's favor will not avoid summary judgment. Williams v. Borough of West Chester, 891 F.2d 458, 460 (3d Cir. 1989)(citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249). Rather, we will grant summary judgment unless "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

 II. Duty to Mitigate Damages

 Defendants move for summary judgment on plaintiff's remaining claim arguing that upon the alleged breach plaintiff had a duty to mitigate damages and failed to uphold this duty. Defendants argue that plaintiff could only have mitigated damages by purchasing another aircraft, which plaintiff admits it did not do. (Def.'s Mem. at 20-21). Therefore, defendants argue, there ...


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