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Published: Saturday, 4/30/2011

Firm sues Maumee-based AboutGolf for breach of contract, fraud

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Corrected version Oct. 7, 2014: A photograph showing Bill Bales and a caption describing him as CEO of AboutGolf was removed. He was not CEO when the lawsuit was filed.

A dispute between a local maker of golf simulators and one of its foreign distributors has resulted in a lawsuit filed in federal court and a recent ruling that dismissed some — but not all — of the complaints.

Maumee-based AboutGolf Ltd. was sued in U.S. District Court in Toledo by Action Group International LLC, which has been the sole distributor of golf simulators in South Korea. In the complaint filed in September, the New Jersey company had eight claims including breach of contract, fraud, and violations of Ohio’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Friday, Judge James Carr released a 22-page ruling dismissing some of the complaints but allowed claims to move forward in regards to breach of warranty, violations of state law, and promissory estoppel.

The claims dismissed include improper termination, breach of territorial exclusivity, unjust enrichment, and tortuous interference with business relations.

The two companies entered into one-year agreements starting in March, 2008, the last of which was signed in April, 2010. Action Group said it invested more than $5 million in developing a distribution market in South Korea, making the country the most lucrative international territory for AboutGolf’s sales in 2009. It said it also spent $700,000 to satisfy customer complaints.

The lawsuit was filed the day that AboutGolf terminated the contract with Action Group, about six months earlier than its agreement stated.



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