AmeriGas was dealt another defeat in the Third Appellate Court of California this week regarding its attempt to erase the 1987 Dempsey agreement regarding propane pricing at Snowcreek.
As described in the ruling, the case can be summarized as follows:
In early 2019, plaintiffs (Snowcreek IV Owners’ Assn. et. al.) sued AmeriGas seeking declaratory relief as to their rights under a contract governing the sale of propane to their residences.
As alleged … In 1987, the original owner and developer, Dempsey Construction Company, was developing the fourth phase of the Snowcreek condominiums. During that phase, Dempsey chose to depart from the “all electric” approach used in prior phases, opting instead to use propane for cooking and heating in Phase IV condominiums.
That choice led Dempsey to negotiate a contract with Turner Propane for the permanent supply of propane to Snowcreek Resort properties (“the 1987 Agreement”). Under the agreement, Turner would receive hundreds of new customers on a “captive and permanent basis,” but would be limited in what it could charge for propane (aka “The Dempsey Dime”). The contract provided that Turner would own the infrastructure for storing the propane and delivering it to the homes.
According to the complaint, the Agreement was recorded, and Dempsey created the Snowcreek homeowners associations, assigning them and their members Dempsey’s rights under the Agreement.
The propane ompany has changed hands several times since.
In 2012, when AmeriGas acquired Heritage Propane, it raised prices and fees in breach of the 1987 Agreement. Following a dispute, in September 2017, AmeriGas notified customers that, since 2012, it had ignored the 1987 Agreement pricing formula and would issue credits in compensation.
However, in August, 2018, AmeriGas told the homeowners associations it had made a deal with a real estate developer, the Chadmar Group, to terminate the 1987 Agreement. Chadmar had purchased undeveloped portions of Snowcreek from Dempsey and had continued development. AmeriGas claimed the agreement was terminated not only as to Chadmar and future property purchasers’ rights, but as to Snowcreek owners associations and their members, whose rights had already been assigned.
Plaintiffs brought this suit in response
The Appellate Court affirmed that the 1987 agreement still stands in a decision filed Wednesday, June 9.
AmeriGas argued that it had created new terms and conditions in its contracts which included an arbitration clause, and that by continuing to provide service, and by clients continuing to pay, that they had tacitly decided to ditch the 1987 agreement and accept new terms.
But as the trial court explained, you can’t change terms and conditions “mid-stream in the business relationship.”
In regard to Mono County upper management giving itself raises using a multi-county survey as cover, this is government at its finest.
Every county pulls this survey crap, so that every taxeater benefits.
Because when the survey dictates that I should raise my salary, then you can follow up by conducting a survey of your own, basing your salary off my elevated number. It creates a wonderful, positive financial feedback loop for public employees everywhere.
Tony Kihaloha … I have no idea if I’ll ever be able to write an obituary for the guy. He’s as mysterious as a sphinx. But I will share this story as told by his very close friend Dan Schaller.
Schaller and Kihaloha were vacationing together in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and after a round of golf they stopped into a local redneck dive bar.
A guy approaches the two sitting at the bar and gestures to Kihaloha. “You know,” he says, “we hang people like you around here,” clearly referring to Kihaloha’s darker complexion. Schaller’s thinking to himself, ‘Shit, Tony’s the only black guy in the bar and we need to get out of here.’
After a bit of a pause, the rest of the bar gone quiet, Kihaloha, who hails from the Cook Islands, deadpans, “And where I’m from, we eat people like you.”
Another pause, and then the bar breaks out in laughter and the tension’s diffused and everybody decides to be friends.
Kihaloha clearly knew how to handle himself in a tight spot.