American Bottoms Outpost files breach of contract suit over land dispute

Kelly Holleran Apr. 1, 2009, 2:36am

American Bottoms Outpost has filed a breach of contract suit, claiming it could not purchase or lease more than 300 acres after a contract was breached.

The suit filed March 24 in Madison County Circuit Court names William P. Brown as defendant.

It claims it entered into an agreement on June 22, 1999, with Brown in which it was given the option to purchase 16 acres fronting Route 3 in Hartford for $750,000 and to lease 299 adjacent acres.

In the agreement, American Bottoms President Scott Davis said he anticipated finding investors to place a business on the property. It also said that should any of the property need to be condemned, Brown would help American Bottoms find the best price for condemnation costs.

However, Brown breached the contract in two ways, American Bottoms says.

First, when Davis brought potential investors to the site, Brown told the investors there was no deal between him and American Bottoms. That prevented "the plaintiff from promoting the enterprise and from finding investors for the project which was the underlying basis and reason for the option, which conduct on the part of the defendant was an anticipatory breach of the contract," the suit states.

Secondly, Brown failed to tell American Bottoms that 6.1 acres of the property were condemned. He also privately made an arrangement with the village of Hartford without attempting to find the best purchase price possible, American Bottoms alleges.

Because of Brown's actions, American Bottoms says it lost business profits, lost proceeds and lost the opportunity to purchase or lease the property.

American Bottoms is seeking a judgment in excess of $50,000, plus costs.

C. Edward Moorman of Alton will be representing it.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-300.

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