Assigned on Briefs June 1, 2017
from the Chancery Court for Knox County No. 188408-1 John F.
case involves a motion for attorney's fees filed by
Nyrstar Tennessee Mines - Strawberry Plains, LLC. Nyrstar and
Claiborne Trucking, LLC are parties to a contract. Nyrstar
prevailed in an underlying breach of contract action against
Claiborne. After prevailing in the underlying case, Nyrstar
filed a motion asking to be awarded its attorney's fees
pursuant to the parties' contract. The issue before us is
whether the language of the contract is sufficient to allow
Nyrstar to seek fees. The trial court held that the language
is not sufficiently specific to create a contractual right to
recover attorney's fees. Nyrstar appeals. We affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Court Affirmed; Case Remanded
B. Ward, Jr. and Mindy L. Nower, Knoxville, Tennessee, for
the appellant, Nyrstar Tennessee Mines-Strawberry Plains,
Cunningham, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Claiborne
Charles D. Susano, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the
court, in which W. Neal McBrayer and Arnold B. Goldin, JJ.,
CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR., JUDGE
a seller of rock from its mines, entered into a contract to
sell specified qualities of rock to Claiborne. Based upon
unpaid invoices, Nyrstar filed a breach of contract action.
Nyrstar prevailed in the underlying action, and the court
awarded Nyrstar $116, 073.43. After prevailing in the breach
of contract case, Nyrstar filed a motion for attorney's
fees and expenses. In its motion, Nyrstar requested $109,
761.62, which included (a) $106, 779.50 for attorney's
fees and (b) $2, 982.12 for expenses.
claims to be entitled to attorney's fees based upon the
following provision in the contract:
The Customer must pay Nyrstar all costs and expenses incurred
by Nyrstar in connection with enforcing its rights against
the Customer under an Agreement including legal expenses and
other costs incurred in ...