Procedural Posture

Plaintiff importer sought review of a judgment of dismissal entered after a motion for nonsuit had been granted from a judgment for costs in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) in a case concerning damages for an alleged breach of contract between plaintiff and defendants, competing distillers, distributors, and other importers.

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Overview

Plaintiff purchased alcoholic beverages for resale to retail dealers from manufacturers and other distributors. Plaintiff brought suit against defendants on five causes of action seeking an accounting, damages and injunctive relief by reason of alleged unfair competition, and damages for alleged breach of contract. Defendants successfully filed motions for nonsuit and then for dismissal. The trial court granted defendants’ motion for nonsuit then issued an order dismissing plaintiff’s suit with judgment and costs. On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court’s judgment of dismissal concluding that defendant distillers violated no anti-trust statutes and that defendant importers had a right to refuse to distribute its products through plaintiff. The court found no evidence of unlawful restraint of trade, and no error in granting nonsuit concerning defendant importers.

Outcome

The judgment of dismissal by the lower court was affirmed because the court found neither defendant distillers nor defendant importers conspired unlawfully to restrain trade, and that there was no error in granting the nonsuit as to defendant importers.