The ongoing legal dispute between Gainesville Renewable Energy (GREC) and Wood Resource Recovery (WRR) over a biomass contract continued as the two companies met for a preliminary court hearing this week.
Four topics were scheduled for Monday’s 3:15 p.m. hearing, but only one, the summary judgement hearing, was discussed.
During the 30-minute hearing, the two companies presented their cases for the lawsuit, which WRR filed against GREC last April.
Mike Piscitelli, the attorney representing GREC, opened. He argued against WRR’s case of GREC breaching the contract signed between the two companies in 2010.
WRR terminated the contract on April 1, 2015, then filed the lawsuit for damages, Piscitelli said. WRR claims the damages are the lost profit on sale of biomass to GREC.
But Piscitelli argued that the way the $5 million in damages were calculated is flawed.
“It’s a very simplistic approach, but there’s all sorts of problems with it,” Piscitelli said.
Namely, the approach ignores the damages calculations that was set out in the contract, he said.
When attorney Kent Safriet, representing WRR, responded, he said the contract was breached long before any biomass could be delivered or sold.
“We have pled and alleged breach and default occurred at the very outset of the contract,” he said.
That allegation is different from a breach in delivering the biomass in the contracted amount, Safriet said. WRR is alleging a breach on the entire contract, not just a part of it.
The contract signed in 2010 stated that GREC had all governmental permits needed to perform the contract, Safriet said. However, WRR discovered three months after the contract was signed that GREC was not able to begin operating due to a lack of necessary approvals to accept and burn WRR’s biomass.
The trial is set for May.