An ex-dealer in Kalispell, Mont., must pay the $200,000 to $300,000 due on his 1992 purchase of a Chevrolet dealership, Montana's high court ruled.
The state supreme court ruled that Allan Holms had waived his right to make counterclaims against the sellers. It found no evidence that the sellers had unfairly pressured him to waive his rights. The dispute stemmed from Holms' purchase of Roy Stanley Chevrolet Co., according to Gary Christiansen of Kalispell, a lawyer for Stanley Chevrolet and its owners, Roy and Carol Stanley. Two years later, Holms sold the dealership.
When he sold it, the Stanleys signed the closing agreement because Holms still owed them money. The agreement included a release in which the parties waived all claims against each other except for Holms' debt to the Stanleys.
The Stanleys later sued Holms for the balance due on the original transaction. He acknowledged the debt, but counterclaimed for bad faith, breach of contract and fraud. He alleged that the Stanleys wrongfully disrupted his business and impeded his efforts to sell the dealership.
The Stanleys won a judgment in Flathead County District Court, and Holms' counterclaims were dismissed.
The Montana Supreme Court upheld the decision. It said Holms was not entitled to a trial on his claims for fraud and economic duress. Holms failed to detail any purported false representations or fraud, the court found, and the release he signed was 'clear and unambiguous.'