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CRST Expedited, Inc. v. Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Cedar Rapids Division

June 4, 2019

CRST EXPEDITED, INC, Plaintiff,
v.
SWIFT TRANSPORTATION CO OF ARIZONA, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          C. J. WILLIAMS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND ............................................................. 2

         II. APPLICABLE LAW ....................................................................... 5

         III. NATURE OF CLAIMS AND CONTRACTS .......................................... 8

         IV. CRST v. TransAm ......................................................................... 12

         V. DISCUSSION OF CLAIMS .............................................................. 14

         A. Intentional Interference with Contract .......................................... 14

1. Contract Validity and Enforceability ................................... 14
a. Lack of Protectable Interest ...................................... 18
b. Violation of Public Policy ........................................ 26
2. Knowledge .................................................................. 31
3. Intentional and Improper Conduct ...................................... 33
4. Causation .................................................................... 36
5. Damages ..................................................................... 39
B. Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage ........... 41
C. Unjust Enrichment ................................................................. 45
D. Injunctive Relief .................................................................... 50

         VI. AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES ............................................................ 53

A. Voidability Defenses ............................................................... 54
B. Remaining Defenses ............................................................... 56

         VII. CONCLUSION ............................................................................. 58

         This matter is before the Court on the parties' cross motions for summary judgment. (Docs. 127, 138). CRST Expedited (“plaintiff”) moves for partial summary judgment, and Swift Transportation (“defendant”) moves for complete summary judgment. Each party timely resisted the other party's motion (Docs. 146, 159), and each party timely filed a reply in support of its own motion (Docs. 154, 167). The Court heard oral argument on the motions on April 11, 2019. (See Doc. 168). For the following reasons, plaintiff's motion (Doc. 127) is granted in part and denied in part, and defendant's motion (Doc. 138) is granted in part and denied in part.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff and defendant are both commercial trucking companies that provide freight-hauling services throughout the country. To operate a semi-trailer, an individual must possess a commercial driver's license (“CDL”). (Docs. 130-1, at 2; 146-1, at 2). The trucking industry, however, is facing a shortage of licensed drivers. (Docs. 130-1, at 1-2; 146-1, at 2). Plaintiff operates a driver training program that allows individuals to obtain their CDLs. (Docs. 130-1, at 2; 146-1, at 2). When individuals enroll in the training program, plaintiff advances the costs of transportation to the training site, lodging, drug tests, physicals, and tuition for the program. (See Docs. 130-1, at 2; 146-1, at 2). These advances are ultimately to be repaid to plaintiff either through a reduced rate of pay until the debt has been satisfied, or through a lump sum payment to plaintiff, as is explained below. (Docs. 140-1, at 8-9; 159-1, at 18, 20).

         Before training commences, each trainee signs a Pre-Employment Agreement. (Docs. 43, at 2-3; 146-1, at 5; see, e.g., Doc. 159-9, at 242-46). The training program consists of four phases (Docs. 140-1, at 6; 159-1, at 10), and upon completion of the first two phases, those students who are hired by plaintiff sign a Driver Employment Contract (“Driver Contract”) (Docs. 140-1, at 12; 159-1, at 26). The Driver Contracts contain either an eight-month or a ten-month restrictive term, during which time the driver-signatory is prohibited from driving for one of plaintiff's “competitors.”[1] (Docs. 130-2, at 51-52; 140-1, at 12; 159-1, at 28). If a driver is discharged or leaves employment before the restrictive term ends, the driver cannot work for any “CRST competitor” during the remainder of the restrictive term.[2] (Docs. 130-2, at 51-52; 140-1, at 16; 159- 1, at 38-39). In addition, a driver who leaves employment before his restrictive term ends is charged $6, 500, regardless of the amount of time remaining on his restrictive term.[3] (Docs. 140-1, at 16; 159-1, at 38-39; see also, e.g., Doc. 130-2, at 52 (a representative Driver Contract that contains a $6, 500 liquidated damages provision)). Plaintiff asserts that if a driver repays the $6, 500, he is released from the contract. (Doc. 159-1, at 39).

         Plaintiff brought suit alleging that defendant has actively recruited and continues to actively recruit plaintiff's drivers, even though those drivers remain within the restrictive terms of their Driver Contracts. (Doc. 43, at 4). Specifically, plaintiff asserts that defendant is aware that the drivers at issue[4] remain within the restrictive terms of their contracts, and that defendant's conduct of actively recruiting its drivers is the cause of the drivers leaving plaintiff to drive for defendant. (Id., at 5-10). By hiring drivers who obtained their CDL at plaintiff's expense, plaintiff asserts that defendant is able to gain the advantage of hiring licensed commercial truck drivers without undertaking the expense of training those drivers. (Id., at 6-7). Based on these allegations, plaintiff brought claims for intentional interference with contract, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, and unjust enrichment. (Id., at 5-8). Plaintiff also seeks permanent injunctive relief “enjoining [defendant] from any further or continued interference with [plaintiff's] prospective economic advantage and/or contracts with its drivers . . ..” (Id., at 8-10).

         An essential element of plaintiff's tortious interference with contract claim is that the contracts with the drivers were valid. See Gen. Elec. Capital Corp. v. Commercial Servs. Grp., Inc., 485 F.Supp.2d 1015, 1025 (N.D. Iowa 2007) (citations omitted). Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment requests only that the Court find that the contracts were valid and that the Court “eliminate all affirmative defenses addressing that element.” (Doc. 130, at 3). Defendant's motion seeks complete summary judgment as to each of plaintiff's claims. (Doc. 138).

         II. APPLICABLE LAW

         Summary judgment is appropriate when “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). When asserting that a fact is undisputed or is genuinely disputed, a party must support the assertion by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations . . ., admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). Alternatively, a party may “show[ ] that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). More specifically, “[a] party may object that the material cited to support or dispute a fact cannot be presented in a form that would be admissible in evidence.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(2).

         A fact is “material” if it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law . . ..” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986) (citation omitted). “An issue of material fact is genuine if it has a real basis in the record, ” Hartnagel v. Norman, 953 F.2d 394, 395 (8th Cir. 1992) (citation omitted), or “when a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party on the question, ” Wood v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 409 F.3d 984, 990 (8th Cir. 2005) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Evidence that presents only “some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts, ” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986), or evidence that is “merely colorable” or “not significantly probative, ” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50, does not make an issue of fact genuine. In sum, a genuine issue of material fact requires “sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual dispute” that it “require[s] a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial.” Id. at 249 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

         The party moving for summary judgment bears “the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the record which show a lack of a genuine issue.” Hartnagel, 953 F.2d at 395 (citation omitted). Once the moving party has met this burden, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and by depositions, affidavits, or other evidence designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. See Mosley v. City of Northwoods, Mo., 415 F.3d 908, 910 (8th Cir. 2005).

         In determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, courts must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, giving that party the benefit of all reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the facts. Tolan v. Cotton, 572 U.S. 650, 651 (2014); Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587-88 (citation omitted); see also Reed v. City of St. Charles, Mo., 561 F.3d 788, 790 (8th Cir. 2009) (stating that in ruling on a motion for summary judgment, a court must view the facts “in a light most favorable to the non-moving party-as long as those facts are not so ‘blatantly contradicted by the record . . . that no reasonable jury could believe' them” (alteration in original) (quoting Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007))). A court does “not weigh the evidence or attempt to determine the credibility of the witnesses.” Kammueller v. Loomis, Fargo & Co., 383 F.3d 779, 784 (8th Cir. 2004) (citation omitted). “Rather, the court's function is to determine whether a dispute about a material fact is genuine . . ..” Quick v. Donaldson Co., Inc., 90 F.3d 1372, 1376-77 (8th Cir. 1996).

         The mere existence of cross motions for summary judgment does not mean the parties are taking inconsistent positions. See Jacobson v. Md. Cas. Co., 336 F.2d 72, 75 (8th Cir. 1964). There may be genuine issues of material facts regarding one motion but not the other. Id. (citation omitted). When a court confronts cross motions for summary judgment, the court views the record in the light most favorable to plaintiff when considering defendant's motion, and the court views the record in the light most favorable to defendant when considering plaintiff's motion. Weber v. Travelers Home & Marine Ins. Co., 801 F.Supp.2d 819, 825 (D. Minn. 2011). On cross motions for summary judgment, a party concedes there are no factual issues and accepts the other party's allegations only for the purpose of the party's own motion. C. Line, Inc. v. City of Davenport, 957 F.Supp.2d 1012, 1024 (S.D. Iowa 2013). A court must consider each motion separately. Wright v. Keokuk Cty. Health Ctr., 399 F.Supp.2d 938, 946 (S.D. Iowa 2005) (citations omitted). Indeed, the presentation of cross motions for summary judgment does not mandate that a court grant summary judgment in favor of one side or the other. Hot Stuff Foods, LLC v. Houston Cas. Co., 771 F.3d 1071, 1076 (8th Cir. 2014). Similarly, the filing of cross motions for summary judgment does not mean that the parties have waived their right to trial. See Wermager v. Cormorant Twp. Bd., 716 F.2d 1211, 1214 (8th Cir. 1983) (“[T]he filing of cross motions for summary judgment does not necessarily indicate that there is no dispute as to a material fact, or have the effect of submitting the cause to a plenary determination on the merits.” (citations omitted)).

         III. NATURE OF CLAIMS AND CONTRACTS

         The parties agree that the Court should apply Iowa law to the merits of plaintiff's claims. (Docs. 140, at 14, 37-38, 39; 159, at 13, 41, 44). The parties disagree, however, as to whether Iowa law governs the validity of the contracts themselves. Plaintiff argues that Iowa law should apply to determine the validity of the contracts. (Doc. 130, at 6 n.2). Defendant does not argue in favor of any specific body of law, but defendant does indicate that other states' laws may be applicable in determining the validity of the contracts. (Doc. 146, at 6 n.1; see also Doc. 92, at 57 (hearing transcript in which counsel for defendant agreed to the application of the Iowa standard for tortious interference but advocated for the application for different states' laws in determining the validity of the contracts at issue)). Defendant does not substantiate this argument or otherwise request that the Court engage in a conflict of laws analysis. Thus, the Court will not engage in a conflict of laws analysis and will, instead, apply Iowa law as to all issues. See Wolgin v. Simon, 722 F.2d 389, 391 (8th Cir. 1984) (“A federal court exercising jurisdiction solely on the basis of diversity of citizenship must apply the substantive law of the forum in which it sits.” (citation omitted)).

         Of plaintiff's four claims, two have the potential to be duplicative, either in whole or in part. Plaintiff's claims for tortious interference with contract and for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage are each based on a similar premise, and the claims have similar elements. The differences between the claims lie in the type of interference that is considered “improper, ” and whether the harm alleged is based on an existing contractual relationship as opposed to a relationship that may vest in the future. Nesler v. Fisher & Co., 452 N.W.2d 191, 196-99 (Iowa 1990); RTL Distrib., Inc. v. Double S Batteries, Inc., 545 N.W.2d 587, 590-91 (Iowa Ct. App. 1996). The type of interference that is considered “improper” is discussed below.

         Plaintiff argues that defendant's interference is twofold. First, plaintiff argues that by hiring plaintiff's drivers, defendant has prevented-and continues to prevent- plaintiff's drivers from working for plaintiff. (Doc. 43, at 5-6 (alleging that defendant's actions deprive plaintiff of “a reliable source of professional truck drivers”)). Second, plaintiff argues that by hiring plaintiff's drivers, defendant has caused-and continues to cause-plaintiff's drivers to breach their non-competition agreements. (Id., at 7-8 (“[Defendant] has intentionally and improperly interfered with [plaintiff's] Employment Contracts by recruiting, encouraging, and/or otherwise assisting drivers to leave [plaintiff] during the [r]estrictive [t]erm . . ..”)).

         Under Iowa law, “contracts [that are] terminable at will are more properly protected as a prospective business advantage rather than as a contract.” Compiano v. Hawkeye Bank & Tr., 588 N.W.2d 462, 464 (Iowa 1999) (citation omitted). See also Mills v. Iowa, 924 F.Supp.2d 1016, 1041 (S.D. Iowa 2013). Before addressing the merits of each claim, then, the Court must determine whether the drivers were employed on an at-will basis and whether the restrictive covenants were terminable at will. If the Court finds that either, or both, sets of contractual provisions were terminable at will, the Court will characterize the claim relating to that provision as a claim for tortious interference with a prospective economic advantage.

         To be bound by an ongoing obligation requires a binding contract. Under Iowa law, “[i]t is fundamental that a valid contract must consist of an offer, acceptance, and consideration.” Margeson v. Artis, 776 N.W.2d 652, 655 (Iowa 2009) (citation omitted). The Court finds that each Driver Contract at issue is supported by an offer, acceptance, and consideration. The parties do not dispute that each driver indicated acceptance, so the Court will assume that each driver accepted the contract offered to him. Likewise, the Court finds that the Driver Contracts were supported by an offer and consideration.

         The parties do not dispute that an offer was made to each driver, and the Court agrees. The exact terms of those offers, however, requires some discussion. The Court finds that, in addition to the restrictive covenant discussed at length below, there are two paragraphs of the Driver Employment Contracts that are relevant for present purposes. Those paragraphs read as follows:

3. TERM OF EMPLOYMENT. The term of [plaintiff's] employment of Employee under this Contract shall be for a period of ten (10) months commencing as of the [date of signing the Contract] (the “Term”) subject to termination prior to the end of the Term pursuant to Section 4 of this Contract. Following the Term, [plaintiff] shall employ Employee on an at-will basis, and either party may terminate the employment relationship at any time effective immediately[.]
4. TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT. During the Term[, ] Employee's employment may be terminated only for the following reasons: 1) by [plaintiff] with or without Due Cause effective immediately, 2) by mutual agreement of [plaintiff] and Employee, or 3) upon the death of Employee. For purposes of this Contract, “Due Cause” means Employee's breach of this Contract and/or Employee's failure to satisfy or comply with any of the standards, requirements, obligations and conditions set forth in the [CRST Professional Driver's Handbook]. . . .

(Doc. 130-2, at 51).

         Paragraph Three of the Driver Contracts would suggest that the drivers are not hired as at-will employees, but, rather, are hired for a defined term of employment. Paragraph Four, however, shows otherwise. Paragraph Four provides that plaintiff can terminate an employee's employment for cause, or for no reason at all, which amounts to plaintiff's reservation of the right to terminate an employee at any time. Thus, even though Paragraph Three purports to set forth a ten-month employment term, Paragraph Four modifies the purported employment term and is best characterized as an offer to employ an employee for an indefinite period of time. The offer that was made to each driver-signatory, then, was not an offer of employment for a period of ten months.

         Neither party contends that any driver made a counter offer, so the Court will assume that no counter offers were made. Plaintiff offered to employ each driver for an indefinite period of time, and it is this offer that each driver at issue is alleged to have accepted. Employees who are hired for an indefinite period of time are considered at-will employees. Allen v. Highway Equip. Co., 239 N.W.2d 135, 142 (Iowa 1976). See also Fitzgerald v. Salsbury Chem., Inc., 613 N.W.2d 275, 281 (Iowa 2000) (“[T]he traditional doctrine of [at-will employment] is now more properly stated as permitting termination at any time for any lawful reason.” (citation, internal quotation marks, and emphasis omitted)). The Court concludes that the drivers at issue here were at-will employees.

         The restrictive covenants were, however, for a defined period of time. The contracts specify that the restrictive covenants were for a period of ten months, and the restrictive covenants were not terminable at will by either party. (See Doc. 130-2, at 51-52). Although the offer of employment that was made was at-will, the offer to accept employment on condition of the restrictive covenant amounted to an offer to accept employment subject to an ongoing obligation. The contracts were, consequently, for employment at-will, subject to an ongoing obligation not to compete.

         Defendant argues that the Driver Contracts were supported by the same consideration as were the Pre-Employment Agreements and were, therefore, invalid for lack of independent consideration. (Doc. 146, at 11-12). The Court disagrees. The consideration for the Pre-Employment Agreements was plaintiff providing training for the drivers. The consideration for the Driver Contracts was plaintiff hiring the drivers. Thus, each contract was supported by independent consideration.

         Defendant suggests that plaintiff purports to rely on continued employment as consideration for the Driver Contracts. (Id., at 12, n.5). The Court does not view plaintiff as arguing this theory, but the Court would reject the proposal if plaintiff were offering it. The contracts were for at-will employment and could not constitute an agreement for continued employment. Thus, any promise made by plaintiff to continually employ the drivers would have been illusory and could not constitute consideration. See Raccoon Valley State Bank v. Gratias, No. 04-1854, 2006 WL 3798902, at *3 (Iowa Ct. App. Dec. 28, 2006) (“A promise is illusory when it fails to bind the promisor, who retains the option of discontinuing performance.” (citing 17A Am. Jur. 2d Contracts § 130, at 150-51 (2004))). This is inconsequential, however, because the mere act of hiring the drivers constituted consideration for the Driver Contracts.

         The Court finds that all three elements necessary for formation of a valid contract are present with respect to the Driver Contracts. The contracts were, however, partially terminable at will and partially subject to an ongoing obligation. Because the drivers were at-will employees, plaintiff's claim that defendant actively recruited and hired plaintiff's drivers is best characterized as a claim for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage. Compiano, 588 N.W.2d at 464. The claim for interference with the restrictive covenants, on the other hand, amounts to a claim for interference with an ongoing contractual obligation and is best characterized as a claim for tortious interference with contract. See Nesler, 452 N.W.2d at 196-99. The Court will consider each claim consistent with these conclusions.

         IV. CRST v. TransAm

         This Court recently considered whether to grant summary judgment in a companion case that presented factual allegations nearly identical to those alleged in this case. See CRST Expedited, Inc. v. TransAm Trucking, Inc., No. C16-52-LTS, 2018 WL 3738017 (N.D. Iowa July 31, 2018) (“TransAm”). In TransAm, however, the parties did not directly address the applicability of the at-will employment doctrine. Rather, the plaintiff in that case-which is also the plaintiff in this case-summarily asserted that the contracts at issue were not at-will contracts. (See TransAm, No. 16-cv-52-LTS, Doc. 167, at 22 n.12, 38). The Court therefore did not address whether the contracts were at-will contracts, in whole or in part.

         In this case, by contrast, plaintiff has raised the at-will employment issue, and plaintiff has directly argued the applicability of the doctrine to the tortious interference claims. (See, e.g., CRST v. Swift, 17-cv-25-CJW-KEM, Doc. 159, at 23-24). Indeed, plaintiff's briefing in this case highlights plaintiff's argument that even if a contract is partially terminable at will, “when the obligation to refrain from working for a competitor is not at-will, but, instead, an ongoing obligation, a competitor makes a second, conscious decision beyond acquiring services in the open market-the competitor causes the breach by hiring the applicant . . ..” (Id., at 25). Because plaintiff, here, raises the at-will employment issue in a non-conclusory fashion and now applies the at-will employment doctrine to the facts of this case, the Court finds it appropriate to address the issue.

         It is this application of the at-will employment doctrine that leads the Court to reach a different conclusion now than it did when considering TransAm. The Court notes, specifically, that when the drivers' status as at-will employees is considered separately from the restrictive covenants, the causation analysis reaches a different conclusion as to the restrictive covenants. That is, because plaintiff now successfully argues that the restrictive covenants were not terminable at will, the Court will address causation separately as to the restrictive covenants under plaintiff's tortious interference with contract claim. The Court did not do so in TransAm because the plaintiff did not fully set forth this argument, and the plaintiff did not address how the ongoing nature of the restrictive covenants impacted the causation analysis. The Court's causation analysis in TransAm closely mirrors the causation analysis the Court now engages in under plaintiff's tortious interference with prospective economic advantage claim. See TransAm, 2018 WL 3738017, at *15-17.

         V. DISCUSSION OF CLAIMS

         A. Intentional Interference with Contract

         Under Iowa law, the elements of intentional interference with contract are:

1) the plaintiff had a valid contractual relationship with a third party; 2) the defendant knew of that relationship; 3) the defendant intentionally interfered with that relationship; 4) the defendant's action caused the third party to breach its contractual relationship with the plaintiff or disrupted the contractual relationship between the third party and the plaintiff by making performance more burdensome or expensive; and 5) . . . damages.

Gen. Elec. Capital Corp., 485 F.Supp.2d at 1025 (citations omitted). Defendant argues that plaintiff's interference with contract claim fails as a matter of law on each of the five elements. (Doc. 140, at 14-37). As discussed above, the Court will consider only plaintiff's claim that defendant tortiously interfered with the drivers' restrictive covenants under the intentional interference with contract claim. Plaintiff's claim that defendant interfered with the drivers' agreement to work for plaintiff will be considered under the tortious interference with prospective economic advantage claim.

         1. Contract Validity and Enforceability

         The bulk of the parties' arguments, including those in plaintiff's own motion for summary judgment, revolve around the validity of the Driver Contracts. In its affirmative motion, defendant asserts that the contracts are void 1) as a matter of law because the non-competition provisions are unsupported by a protectable interest, and 2) as against public policy. These flaws in the non-competition provisions, defendant argues, invalidate the entirety of the contracts.

         Plaintiff argues that defendant can be liable for tortious interference with contract if defendant improperly interfered with a contract that was not void ab initio and had not been avoided at the time of the interference. (Doc. 130, at 12-14). From this premise, plaintiff reasons that if a contract was not actually avoided before defendant's alleged interference, defendant lacks standing to assert those defenses that would permit a contracting party to avoid a contract. (Id.). Plaintiff, consequently, seeks summary judgment as to defendant's affirmative defenses that would permit defendant to argue that the contracts are voidable. (Id., at 14-23). In response, defendant maintains that the contracts were void from their inception, but argues that even if they were not, the Court should still find that the contracts are invalid. (Doc. 146, at 21-22). In support, defendant asserts that courts, including Iowa courts, no longer “emphasize the void versus voidable distinction, ” and that the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Economic Harm “does not even reference the void versus voidable distinction, but instead looks to whether the contract is ‘valid.'” (Id., at 22).

         The Court rejects defendant's assertion that the void/voidable distinction is inapplicable. As this Court recognized in TransAm, “[t]he void/voidable distinction is far from outdated.” 2018 WL 3738017, at *9. Iowa courts have continued to follow the Restatement (Second) of Torts for intentional interference cases. See, e.g., Jones v. Univ. of Iowa, 836 N.W.2d 127, 151 (Iowa 2013); Spreitzer v. Hawkeye State Bank, 779 N.W.2d 726, 737 (Iowa 2009); Kern v. Palmer Coll. of Chiropractic, 757 N.W.2d 651, 663-64 (Iowa 2008); Condon Auto Sales & Serv., Inc. v. Crick, 604 N.W.2d 587, 601 (Iowa 2000); RTL Distrib., Inc. v. Double S Batteries, Inc., 545 N.W.2d 587, 590 (Iowa Ct. App. 1996). This Court has addressed the void/voidable distinction in this very case, as well as in two companion cases. See TransAm, 2018 WL 3738017, at *9-10; CRST Expedited, Inc. v. JB Hunt Transp., Inc., Nos. 17-CV-26 CJW & 17-CV-24 CJW, 2018 WL 2768874, at *10-13 (N.D. Iowa June 8, 2018) (“JB Hunt”); CRST Expedited, Inc. v. Swift Transp. Co. of Ariz., LLC, No. 17-CV-25-CJW, 2018 WL 2016274, at *7-9 (N.D. Iowa Apr. 30, 2018) (“Swift”). Finally, the Court has been unable to find any Iowa caselaw adopting the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Economic Harm, which is still in draft form and has yet to be officially published. Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Economic Harm (Am. Law Inst., Tentative Draft No. 3, 2018).

         When addressing the void/voidability distinction in this case previously, the Court engaged in the following discussion:

         The Restatement (Second) of Contracts, Section 766, Intentional Interference with Performance of Contract by ...


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