Taylor & Sons, Inc. v. United States

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Case: 20-1185 Document: 76 Page: 1 Filed: 12/29/2020 NOTE: This disposition is nonprecedential. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ______________________ TAYLOR & SONS, INC., CEDRIC THEEL, INC., WHITEY'S, INC., RFJS COMPANY, LLC, JIM MARSH AMERICAN CORPORATION, LIVONIA CHRYSLER JEEP, INC., BARRY DODGE INC., Plaintiffs-Appellants ALLEY'S OF KINGSPORT, INC., ET AL., Plaintiffs v. UNITED STATES, Defendant-Appellee ——————————————– MIKE FINNIN MOTORS, INC., GUETTERMAN MOTORS, INC., Plaintiffs-Appellants ALLEY'S OF KINGSPORT, INC., ET AL., Plaintiffs v. UNITED STATES, Defendant-Appellee ______________________ 2020-1185, 2020-1205 Case: 20-1185 Document: 76 Page: 2 Filed: 12/29/2020 2 TAYLOR & SONS, INC. v. UNITED STATES ______________________ Appeals from the United States Court of Federal Claims in Nos. 1:10-cv-00647-NBF, 1:11-cv-00100-NBF, 1:12-cv-00900-NBF, Senior Judge Nancy B. Firestone. ______________________ Decided: December 29, 2020 ______________________ ROGER J. MARZULLA, Marzulla Law, LLC, Washington, DC, argued for plaintiffs-appellants Taylor & Sons, Inc., Cedric Theel, Inc., Whitey's, Inc., RFJS Company, LLC, Jim Marsh American Corporation, Livonia Chrysler Jeep, Inc., Barry Dodge Inc. RICHARD D. FAULKNER, Faulkner ADR Law, Richard- son, TX, for plaintiffs-appellants Guetterman Motors, Inc., Mike Finnin Motors, Inc. Also represented by HARRY ZANVILLE, La Mesa, CA. ELIZABETH MARIE HOSFORD, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, United States Department of Jus- tice, Washington, DC, argued for defendant-appellee. Also represented by CHRISTOPHER JAMES CARNEY, JEFFREY B. CLARK, KENNETH DINTZER, ROBERT EDWARD KIRSCHMAN, JR., ALISON VICKS. ______________________ Before DYK, TARANTO, and STOLL, Circuit Judges. TARANTO, Circuit Judge. Before mid-2009, the plaintiffs in these cases were au- tomobile dealers operating as franchisees of Chrysler LLC. In that year, Chrysler filed a petition for reorganization in bankruptcy, and it rejected the franchise agreements in the bankruptcy proceeding under 11 U.S.C. § 365. Plaintiffs sued the United States in the Court of Federal Claims, Case: 20-1185 Document: 76 Page: 3 Filed: 12/29/2020 TAYLOR & SONS, INC. v. UNITED STATES 3 alleging that the government played a role in Chrysler’s re- jection of the franchise agreements that constituted a tak- ing of their property, requiring just compensation under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In 2014, agreeing with the Claims Court, we allowed the case to proceed beyond the pleading stage. A & D Auto Sales, Inc. v. United States, 748 F.3d 1142 (Fed. Cir. 2014). On remand, the Claims Court, after a full trial, rejected the claims on two grounds—first, that the government’s actions did not amount to coercion of Chrysler’s decision to reject the franchise agreements and, second, that plaintiffs did not prove that the franchise agreements would have had value but for those actions. Colonial Chevrolet Co, Inc. v. United States, 145 Fed. Cl. 243 (2019) (Trial Opinion). On plaintiffs’ appeal, we now affirm on the latter ground and do not address the former. I A Taylor & Sons, Inc. (Taylor) and Mike Finnin Motors, Inc. (Finnin) are two of the nine plaintiffs-appellants, all of whom, like many other dealers, had their franchise agree- ments with Chrysler rejected in the 2009 Chrysler bank- ruptcy proceeding. Taylor and six other plaintiffs- appellants have …

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