Breach of Contract Complaint Filed Over Unpaid Marketing Materials (Expressdocs v. D’Aprile Properties)
Xpressdocs Partners, L.P. (“ExpressDocs”) filed a breach of contract lawsuit Monday morning against D’Aprile Properties, LLC, Midwest Lending Corporation, and Ryan D’Aprile (“D’Aprile”), individually; in the Northern District of Illinois, alleging breach of contract in the amount of $317,391.57 for alleged marketing services rendered. The Complaint alleges that the Defendants are ultimately one and the same, as D’Aprile, and the entities largely operate in the same fashion, as such, it alleges the Defendants together failed to pay the marketing bills for over six months.
Xpressdocs provides a wide variety of marketing services, its website lists brand management, automated direct mail, and print and direct mail fulfillment; as the three primary tabs of services provided. Xpressdocs also is geared towards specific industries, with Real Estate being listed as the first option under “By Industry,” on its website.
Ryan D’Aprile is a real estate agent based in Illiniois, which also offers financing services and is licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida. Its mortgage financing arm appears to be separate from the real estate portion, but D’April is listed under both entities.
The complaint alleges, and includes exhibits, demonstrating that the parties have had a Marketing Services Agreement on the books since 2016, this agreement purportedly included a variety of services, including digital services, direct mail, and other sorts of similar activities.
The fact-intensive Complaint goes into some interesting considerations as to corporate structure of D’Aprile’s holdings, which helps to lay the foundation to naming each entity. For example, the Complaint lays out that when payments were remitted, they came from inconsistent sources, sometimes from D’Aprile individually, and sometimes through the different companies.
The Complaint admits that D’April had attempted on several occasions to setup a payment plan with Xpressdocs, however, Xpressdocs alleges that these efforts were not good faith and were only to “string along” the company, in the hopes that it would continue to provide marketing services.
The Causes of Action against D’Aprile and his holdings include, Breach of Contract, Quantum Meruit (in the alternative), Suit on Sworn Account, Conspiracy, and Violation of the Theft Liability Act. In total, Xpressdocs is seeking relief in the amount of the entire unpaid amount, reasonable attorney’s fees, and pre-judgment and post-judgment interest.
In many ways, this case appears to be a traditional breach of contract case. One thing that is interesting to note is how the Complaint looks to largely dismiss the attempts to pay as being not in good faith. What sorts of measures are acceptable to bargain in good faith to resolve this sort of issue? In the end, seems like a dispute that is ripe for mediation.