Oral arg. – Miss.S.Ct. – Monday, June 15, 2015

At 1:30 the Court will hear the case of Randy Braswell v. Ergon Oil Purchasing.

Braswell entered into a series of contracts in which he agreed to sell all of his oil production in Amite County and Pike Countyi to Ergon.  In 2012, Braswell filed a lawsuit alleging that Ergon fraudulently  misrepresented that he would receive a premium of three dollars per barrel above the price which he would have received if he sold his oil to Ergon’s main competitor.  Ergon removed the Amite County lawsuit to the United States District  Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.  Two days after Braswell’s complaint was filed in Amite County, Ergon filed a Complaint for Declaratory and Other Relief in the Circuit Court of Rankin County, Mississippi involving the same contracts.

Ergon moved for summary judgment attaching the twenty years’ worth of letter agreements that set forth the price to be paid for the oil.  The court granted summary judgment for Ergon.  Braswell filed a motion to reconsider.  While that motion was pending, the federal court, on January 30, 2014,  remanded the Amite county case to state court. A week later Braswell  asked the Rankin County court to transfer the case to Amite County pursuant to the doctrine of priority jurisdiction.  The Rankin County court denied reconsideration and the motion to transfer and Braswell appealed.

The issues, as set forth by Braswell, are:

1.Did the Circuit Court err when it granted summary judgment on Braswell’s counter-claims for fraudulent inducement to contract based upon a finding that there are no genuine issues of material fact?

2. Did the Circuit Court err when it found that performance by Ergon of the contracts at issue negated Braswell’s claim of fraudulent inducement to contract?

3. Pursuant to the Priority Jurisdiction rule, did the Circuit Court err when it declined to transfer this lawsuit to the Circuit Court of Amite County, Mississippi?

Braswell’s brief.

Ergon’s brief.

Watch the argument here.

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