Sanders v. Fedex Ground Package System, Inc.

188 P.3d 1200 (2008)


D recruited P to be an independent contractor charged with making pick-ups and deliveries along a specified route. During initial negotiations that P was told he would have the ability to grow his business by buying routes from other contractors as they became available. P tried unsuccessfully to buy other routes over D's opposition. D eventually chose not to renew P's contract, and he sold his route. According to P, D made it impossible for the new owner to operate the route successfully. D refused to get insurance coverage for the new owner's vans, D failed to pay the new owner for more than a month, and D refused to allow the new owner to hire her own drivers. Eventually, the new owner defaulted on her payment obligations to P. P filed suit against D for breach of contract and tortious interference with contractual relations. After a six-day trial, the jury returned a general verdict in P's favor and awarded compensatory damages in the amount of $680,161.00. D appealed arguing that the jury was improperly instructed as that particular claim was submitted to the jury on a theory of breach of contract as well as the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. D pointed out that its written contract with P made no express representation that P would have a right to buy other routes, and therefore, the contract could not give rise to an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing with respect to a nonexistent term of the contract. The Court of Appeals agreed and remanded for a new trial. P appealed.