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BLD Products, Ltc. v. Technical Plastics of Oregon

December 11, 2006

BLD PRODUCTS, LTC., A MICHIGAN CORPORATION DOING BUSINESS AS SLOAN TRANSPORTATION PRODUCTS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TECHNICAL PLASTICS OF OREGON, LLC, AN OREGON LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, MARK HARDIE, AN INDIVIDUAL, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: King, Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

In this action, plaintiff BLD Products, Ltd. ("BLD") is seeking to collect money owed by defendant Technical Plastics of Oregon, LLC ("TPO") for goods sold by BLD. BLD also seeks to pierce the corporate veil to get to the assets of defendant Mark Hardie, the sole owner of TPO. Before the court is Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment against Defendant Mark Hardie (#58). For the reasons below, I grant the motion in part.

FACTS

BLD manufactures and sells hose and pipefittings, tubing, and related products. Mark Hardie is the sole member and manager of TPO and the only person who worked for TPO. Hardie had over ten years of experience in the business before he organized TPO. TPO operated out of an office occupying approximately 900 square feet of Hardie's 3,200 square foot home, as well as a warehouse. Hardie operated three other businesses out of his home office and the warehouse space rented by TPO: Marcelle Tea, Esdan America, and Atag America, Inc.

Mark Hardie is married to Mary Williams-Hardie. Williams-Hardie stated that she was minimally involved with TPO's business and only wrote checks from TPO's account or made purchases on Hardie's instructions. Hardie, however, testified that his wife handled the books and decided whether to transfer money from TPO's account to their personal account.

Hardie does not remember if he paid anything for his membership interest in TPO and believes that all monies paid to TPO were loans.

TPO had a business checking account at US Bank. Hardie and Williams-Hardie had a personal checking account there also.

The first deposit into the TPO checking account was on October 23, 2000 for $17,530. During the next week, TPO repaid a $2,000 loan from Hardie's mother, issued a check for $2,000 to Hardie's personal checking account with the notation "Payback for Business Startup/exp," and paid Williams-Hardie $3,000 with a check with the notation "repay personal account." During both January and February 2001, TPO's checking account had total withdrawals over $1,000.

Hardie and Williams-Hardie regularly used TPO to pay their personal expenses, including: landscaping services for their home containing the home office; $7,236 in cleaning services for the home, including Hardie and Williams-Hardie's master bedroom, from November 2004 through August 2005 and without any contribution from Hardie's other companies; purchases in December 2004 from GI Joe's, Wrestler's World, Made in Oregon, WWE Merchandise, K-Mart, Big 5 Sporting Goods, and the Oregon Liquor Store; purchases in 2004 and 2005 at Fred Meyer, Mattress World, Jo-Ann Fabric, Fabric Depot, and Parkrose TV Hardware, none of which Hardie could explain; credit card payments of $4,614.24 to six companies from November 2004 through August 2005 for credit cards which Hardie could not remember if they were TPO cards or personal cards except that he remembered that the Chase card was a personal credit card. Further, American Express made automatic withdrawals from the TPO checking account totaling $10,000 from January 2005 through June 2005.

TPO made payments on the loan for Hardie's Ford F-150 truck which Hardie used for the business of TPO, Marcelle Tea, and Esdan America as well as for his personal use. Hardie did not keep records of how many miles were driven for each use.

TPO supported Hardie's other businesses in several ways. TPO loaned Marcelle Tea $5,000 in August 2002 for reasons that Hardie cannot now remember. He also cannot remember if Marcelle Tea repaid the loan. In September 2002, TPO paid legal fees owed by Marcelle Tea but Hardie cannot remember why. In December 2004, TPO paid for marketing services on behalf of Marcelle Tea.

TPO paid several other personal expenses for Hardie, including $2,407 for the construction of a deck on his home; expenses for Williams-Hardie's son at Portland Community College; personal purchases during a family vacation to Disneyland and Sea World; and personal expenses incurred by Williams-Hardie on a cruise to the Bahamas.

Neither TPO nor Hardie filed tax returns for the years from 2000 through 2004.

TPO struggled financially from November 2004 through July 2005. During this time, TPO issued checks totaling approximately $32,800 to Hardie or his personal bank account without any documentation about why the disbursements were made. In January 2005, an additional $5,000 was withdrawn from TPO's ...


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