Non-compete clause violated, grain company claims

Kelly Holleran Jan. 5, 2010, 6:23am

A Cahokia corporation claims a milling company and its president violated a non-compete clause found in a contract signed between the businesses in 2004.

Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. claims it purchased a facility at 3 Cargill Elevator Road in Cahokia from American Milling on Jan. 5, 2005. It purchased the facility after American Milling and its president, David Jump, signed a purchase agreement on Sept. 20, 2004, according to the complaint filed Dec. 28 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

In the purchase agreement, Jump and American Milling agreed to refrain from purchasing or operating a grain handling facility within 100 miles of the Cahokia facility they sold to CGB for at least five years from the closing date, the suit states.

Although the non-compete agreement does not expire until Jan. 5, 2010, American Milling and Jump purchased a grain handling facility immediately downstream from the Cahokia facility as early as 2008, the complaint says.

In addition, the company and Jump hired Mike Raney, who was a "key CGB employee at the Facility that CGB purchased from American Milling," the suit states.

In the two-count suit, CGB alleges breach of contract and tortious interference.

It is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs, interest and other relief the court deems just.

It will be represented by Ronald E. Fox and Theodore H. Lucas of Fox Galvin in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-687.

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