CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has overturned a ruling by Kanawha Circuit Court in a lawsuit
The appeal was brought by Kourt Security Partners after Kanawha granted an order of summary judgment in favor of Judy’s Locksmiths and Judith J. Ransom on March 13, 2016, according to the Oct. 13 opinion.
Justice Margaret Workman authored the majority opinion.
Kourt argued that the circuit court erred in granting summary judgment where genuine issues of material fact exist. The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s order granting summary judgment and remanded the case back to Kanawha for further proceedings.
On April 1, 2008, the respondents entered into an asset purchase agreement with Secure US Inc. and Serbian Fonz, agreeing the sell the assets of its business in Charleston to companies owned by Mitchell Brozik for the purchase price of $420,992.
The Brozik companies made installment payments until sometime in early 2009. The respondents initiated a lawsuit against the Brozik companies on Sept. 1, 2009. On Dec. 26, 2009, the Mylan Puskar Amended and Restated Revocable Trust purchased the outstanding debt of Secure US in the amount of $3.5 million and extended an additional line of credit in the amount of $900,000.
On Oct. 6, 2011, the respondents settled the civil action with the Brozik companies, with the companies agreeing to pay the respondents $191,000 over 36 months.
In 2012, Brozik’s aunt, Betty Parmer, agreed to assist Brozik with his companies’ financial challengers by purchasing the debt of Secure US and move to have its assets sold at auction. Parmer purchased the assets in a secured party sale on May 5, 2012. In May 2014, Kourt was retained to manage the assets.
On June 19, 2014, the circuit court awarded the respondents $47,184.24 to be paid by the Brozik companies
The respondents moved for summary judgment against the petitioner on Jan. 26, 2016, and, on March 1, 2016, the circuit court entered an order granting summary judgment in the amount of $48,730.97.
“In the case sub judice, the respondents did not satisfy their burden of showing the absence of any genuine issues of material fact regarding whether Ms. Parmer was a bona fide purchaser,” Workman wrote. “Having recognized the admonition of syllabus point six of Aetna Casualty, requiring doubts as to the existence of material issues to be construed against the movant, this Court finds that summary judgment should not have been granted in this case.”
Accordingly, the final order entered on March 1, 2016, is reversed and the case is remanded to Kanawha Circuit Court for further proceedings.
W.Va. Supreme Court of Appeals case number: 16-0553