The company that provided sales staff support for Newmar Corp. at two European consumer shows last year has filed a $21 million breach of contract suit against Newmar.
Marshall Motor Homes International Inc. of Knoxville, Tenn., provided sales staff at Newmar’s displays of its innovative NewAire motorhome during shows in Dusseldorf, Germany, and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, last year. But on Aug. 17, Ross W. Marshall, principal of the firm that currently is in limbo, filed the lawsuit in federal court in Knoxville, Tenn.
No hearing or trial dates have been scheduled yet.
Marshall Motor Homes entered into an agreement with Nappanee, Ind.-based Newmar during March 2000 to be the exclusive distributor of the NewAire low-profile diesel pusher in all European countries, South Africa, all Pacific Rim nations and Saudi Arabia, according to court documents.
However, the relationship soured earlier this year when Marshall and Newmar began arguing over who should be responsible for design modifications that are required before the NewAire could be sold in the United Kingdom and Germany, according to the law suit.
Finally, “on June 20, 2001, (Newmar) President Virgil Miller wrote Marshall and stated that (Newmar) did not wish for Marshall Motors Homes to act as its overseas distributor. This action breached the parties’ agreement,” the court document states.
Meanwhile, Miller said he “totally disagrees” with all of the allegations contained in the law suit.
“This was not unexpected and it’s totally unfortunate,” Miller added.
Marshall contends his company complied with all conditions specified in a letter of intent prior to June 20 and that the severance of the agreement caused “irreparable injury in the form of lost business opportunities and loss of its good will and business reputation in the international motor vehicle industry,” the law suit states.
Marshall estimates his company lost $20 million in potential profits as a result of the break-up and he wants his company reimbursed for $1 million in expenses incurred while representing Newmar.
Marshall requested a jury trial for setting the damage amounts.