Bitler Investment Venture II, LLC v. Marathon Petroleum Co. LLP

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
No. 12-3722
Decision Date: 
January 27, 2014
Federal District: 
N.D. Ind., Ft. Wayne Div.
Affirmed and reversed in part and remanded
In contract and property action by plaintiffs-land owners seeking recovery of damages for harm caused by defendants-oil companies in attempting to clean up pollution at gas stations that plaintiffs had leased to defendants, Dist. Ct. erred in dismissing breach of contract claim with respect to two properties in which complaint alleged that defendants had failed to make simple repairs to buildings that in turn caused buildings on said properties to be condemned, where parties’ contract required that defendants leave properties in condition reasonably useful for future commercial use. Moreover, Dist. Ct. erred in failing to double jury’s award for waste damages associated with four other properties, where such doubling was required under Michigan statute, and where record showed that defendants qualified as “tenants for years” for purposes of application of instant Michigan statute under provisions of relevant leases that were extended for indefinite period to allow for completion of remediation of properties.