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Audio Visual Services Group, Inc. v. IT Service Management Forum-USA, Inc.

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

January 16, 2014

AUDIO VISUAL SERVICES GROUP, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
IT SERVICE MANAGEMENT FORUM-USA, INC., ET AL., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

CHARLES R. SIMPSON, III, Senior District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on a motion for default judgment filed by Plaintiff Audio Visual Services Group, Inc. ("AVS"), against Defendant Action Motivation, Inc. ("AMI"). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant the motion for default judgment.

BACKGROUND

For the purposes of this opinion, the following facts are taken as true. Defendant IT Service Management Forum-USA, Inc. ("ITS"), is a national organization that provides career development, mentoring, and networking opportunities for information technology professionals. In the years 2006-10, Defendant ITS authorized Defendant AMI to develop, organize, and manage its annual conferences, and further agreed to be contractually bound by any agreements entered into by AMI. In preparing for the 2010 Annual Conference, AMI contacted Plaintiff AVS and requested that AVS provide audiovisual services and equipment during the conference. Prior to the 2010 Conference, AVS provided AMI with a proposal for services and equipment which detailed the services and equipment to be provided as well as their anticipated cost. At no time did either AMI or ITS object to the amount of the proposal.

Pursuant to the proposal, AVS provided all audiovisual services and equipment detailed in the proposal. At the end of the conference, AVS provided AMI with an invoice requesting payment for the services and equipment it had provided. However, AVS has yet to receive any payments for such services and equipment.

On August 8, 2012, AVS filed the present action against ITS requesting damages based on a theory of quantum meruit and unjust enrichment. (DN 1). On February 14, 2013, AVS filed its First Amended Complaint, asserting the same claims against AMI. (DN 11). After AMI failed to timely respond to AVS's First Amended Complaint, the Deputy Clerk entered default against AMI (DN 15) in accordance with AVS's request (DN 14). On November 26, 2013, AVS filed the present motion for default judgment (DN 17), to which AMI has failed to respond. Having considered AVS's brief and being otherwise sufficiently advised, the Court will now consider the motion for default judgment.

STANDARD

Entry of default judgment constitutes admission of all well-pleaded allegations, except those pertaining to the amount of damages. See Credit Lyonnais Securities (USA), Inc. v. Alcantara, 183 F.3d 151, 155 (2d Cir. 1999); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d). Thus, the court must conduct an independent inquiry sufficient to establish damages to a "reasonable certainty." Id. (quoting Transatlantic Marine Claims Agency, Inc. v. Ace Shipping Corp., 109 F.3d 105, 111 (2d Cir. 1997)). The plaintiffs bear the burden of proving its entitlement to the amount demanded. Greyhound Exhibitgroup, Inc. v. E.L. U.L. Realty Corp., 973 F.2d 155, 158 (2d Cir. 1992) (citing Flaks v. Koegel, 504 F.2d 702, 707 (2d Cir. 1974)).

DISCUSSION

The sole issue is whether the facts stated above entitle AVS to recover the damages it has requested from AMI based on a theory of either quantum meruit or unjust enrichment.

In order to prevail on a quantum meruit claim under Kentucky law, [1] a plaintiff must establish four elements:

1. that valuable services were rendered...;
2. to the person from whom recovery is sought;
3. which services were accepted by that person, or at least were received by that person or were rendered with the knowledge and consent of that person; and
4. under such circumstances as reasonably notified the person that the plaintiff expected to be paid by that person.

Quadrille Bus. Sys. v. Ky. Cattlemen's Ass'n, 242 S.W.3d 359, 366 (Ky.Ct.App. 2007) (citing 66 AM. JUR. 2D RESTITUTION AND IMPLIED CONTRACTS § 38 (2001)); accord J.P. White v. Poe, 2011 WL 1706751 (Ky.Ct.App. May 6, 2011). Clearly, AVS has successfully established all necessary elements of its quantum meruit claim. AVS's First Amended Complaint alleges that it rendered valuable audiovisual services and equipment to AMI, that AMI accepted such services and equipment, and that the circumstances were such that AMI should have reasonably known that AVS expected to be paid therefor. See (First Amended Complaint, DN 11, at ¶¶ 46, 48). Because entry of default judgment constitutes admission of all well-pleaded allegations, see Credit Lyonnais Securities (USA), Inc. v. Alcantara, 183 F.3d 151, 155 (2d Cir. 1999), the Court concludes that AVS is entitled to judgment on its quantum meruit claim.

The only remaining issue is whether AVS has carried its burden of establishing its entitlement to the amount of damages requested. In support of its request for $163, 248.53, AVS has provided the following evidence:

1. the affidavit of AVS's Account Executive Eric A. Jordan ("Jordan") (DN 17-7)
2. the invoice provided to AMI at the conclusion of the 2010 Conference (DN 17-5).

According to his Affidavit, Jordan is "responsible for, among other things, preparing, keeping, and maintaining records of [AVS] relating to amounts owed by [AVS's] customers." (Declaration of Eric A. Jordan, DN 17-7, at ¶ 3). Further, Jordan states that he has "reviewed the computerized accounting records maintained by [AVS] to determine the amount of money owed to [AVS] by [AMI] in connection with the 2010 Event Proposal." (Declaration of Eric A. Jordan, DN 17-7, at ¶ 7). Based on his review, Jordan concludes that "[AVS] is owed $163, 248.53 in unpaid fees for services provided in connection with the Event." (Declaration of Eric A. Jordan, DN 17-7, at ¶ 10). Jordan's conclusion is further buttressed by the invoice AVS provided to AMI at the conclusion of the 2010 Conference to the extent it confirms the $163, 248.53 figure. (Invoice, DN 17-5). The Court concludes that this evidence is more than sufficient to establish AVS's entitlement to the $163, 248.53 it claims it is owed by AMI.[2]

Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that AVS's Motion for Default Judgment against AMI is GRANTED.

There being no just reason for delay in its entry, this is a final order. A separate judgment will be entered in accordance with this opinion and order.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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