Decision – MSSC – 3/29/18

Tommy Brooks Oil Co. v. Jerry Wilburn –  guaranty/ mutual or unilateral mistake   – Brooks Oil had been supplying fuel products to  Wilburn Oil for its gas stations for years.  In 2012, according to Brooks, Wilburn stopped paying all of its invoices and by 2013 owed a million dollars.  In order for Brooks Oil to resume selling to Wilburn, Brooks insisted on a personal guaranty and  Wilburn signed two personal guaranties to Brooks Oil’s benefit. The first guaranty was for $100,000. The second guaranty was for $150,000. In May  2014, Brooks Oil sued Wilburn claiming hat Wilburn Oil was not paying the outstanding invoices and sought to collect from Wilburn on the personal guaranties. Wilburn denied defaulting and insisted that the personal guaranties did not apply to past debt.  Wilburn moved for summary judgment which the court granted. Brooks also filed a complaint on an open account claiming that Wilburn owed $984,078.02 in unpaid invoices. Wilburn Oil never answered and Brooks Oil was awarded a default judgment of $1,184,272.52. Wilburn Oil then filed a motion to set aside the default judgment which the court granted. It then consolidated the two cases. Brooks requested an interlocutory appeal on the grant of summary judgment on the guaranty  which the MSSC granted.  The Court notes that Wilburn claimed that the guaranties were unenforceable either due to mutual mistake or unilateral mistake.  It isn’t clear which theory the trial court granted summary judgment on.  However, with regard to either theory there were substantial questions of fact that precluded summary judgment. It reverses the grant of summary judgment for Wilburn.

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