Annie Sloan Interiors also claims that Jolie Designs & Decor does not have any rights to distribute its products in countries outside the United States. File photo
The former sole distributor for Annie Sloan Chalk Paints has lost a court appeal in Louisiana.
On July 25, U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon of the Eastern District of Louisiana ruled against a motion to appeal and stay proceedings from Jolie Designs & Decor Inc. Jolie had been the exclusive distributor in the United States for Annie Sloan Interiors, Ltd., which is also the maker of Annie Sloan chalk paints, since 2010. The agreement had been on a "perpetual basis," court documents state.
Annie Sloan Interiors claims that Jolie breached that agreement when they became engaged with distributing its products outside of the United States. In November 2017, after "multiple unsuccessful attempts to discuss and mediate their differences," Annie Sloan Interiors filed legal action against Jolie.
The lawsuit claims that "the 2010 Agreement's perpetual term is against Louisiana public policy and is terminable at the will of either party upon a reasonable notice pursuant to Louisiana Civil Code article 2024."
Annie Sloan Interiors also claims that Jolie does not have any rights to distribute its products in countries outside the United States.
"To the extent that JDD's activities in countries other than the United States are conducted under the 2010 Agreement, the termination of the 2010 Agreement would result in the termination of JDD's exclusive distributorship in those countries," court documents state.
Louisiana Civil Code article 2024 states in part that, "[a] contract of unspecified duration may be terminated at the will of either party by giving notice, reasonable in time and form, to the other party."
Lemmon ruled in her findings that after reviewing a matter ruled upon in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit on Article 2024, the 2010 Agreement is indeed terminable at the will of either party after giving reasonable notice.
The Supreme Court of Louisiana is considering a case involving Louisiana Civil Code article 2024. That matter has yet to be ruled on. Jolie argued in its appeal that "the question whether Article 2024 applies to contracts that state they are of a perpetual duration is a controlling question of law about which there is a substantial ground for a difference of opinion because the Supreme Court of Louisiana has not addressed it."