North Carolina CVS Pharmacy, L.L.C. v. Clark Brothers, L.L.C. (Lawyers Weekly No. 15-02-1122, 6 pp.) (Terrence Boyle, J.) 7:14-cv-00216; E.D.N.C.
Holding: The parties’ lease prohibited the landlord “or any of its officers, directors, trustees, individual members, or partners” from leasing or selling any adjacent land to the tenant’s competitors. Although the lease referred to the landlord’s “affiliates” in a different provision, it did not do so in the provision in question. Therefore, there was no breach of the lease when a corporation – whose shareholders and officers include members of the landlord (an LLC) – sold an adjacent lot to one of the tenant’s competitors.
The court grants the defendant-landlord’s motion for summary judgment.
Even if the contract were ambiguous, North Carolina law demands resolution of ambiguities in favor of the unrestricted use of land. Any ambiguity would be resolved against plaintiff.