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Wright v. Waterberg Big Game Hunting Lodge Otjahewita (Pty), Ltd.

Court of Appeals of Georgia

December 18, 2014

WRIGHT
v.
WATERBERG BIG GAME HUNTING LODGE OTJAHEWITA (PTY), LTD

Contract. Fulton Superior Court. Before Judge Glanville.

Michael D. Barber, Eric A. Ballinger, for appellant.

Knight Johnson, James M. Johnson, for appellee.

ELLINGTON, Presiding Judge. Phipps, C. J., and McMillian, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 514

Ellington, Presiding Judge.

This is the third appearance of this case before this Court. As set forth in the previous appeals and as shown by the record, Appellant Joseph " Jerry" Wright was a long-time member of Safari Club International, Inc. (" SCI" ), a charitable organization that holds conventions at which attendees have the opportunity to bid at auction on various goods, services, and hunting excursions, which primarily have been donated to SCI by third parties (" outfitters" ). Wright v. Safari Club Intl., 307 Ga.App. 136 (706 S.E.2d 84) (2010) (" Wright I " ); Wright v. Safari Club Intl., 322 Ga.App. 486 (745 S.E.2d 730) (2013) (" Wright II " ). In 2007, Wright attended SCI's seminar in Reno, Nevada and was the successful bidder on a 14-day hunting and fishing trip to the Republic of South Africa and Namibia offered and conducted by one such outfitter, Appellee Waterberg Big Game Hunting Lodge Otjahewita (Pty), Ltd. (" WABI" ). See Wright II, 322 Ga.App. at 486.

Page 515

WABI subsequently canceled portions of the safari, and Wright brought suit against SCI and WABI for breach of contract and violation of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act (" FBPA" ), OCGA § 10-1-393. See Wright II, 322 Ga.App. at 494-495 (5) (Wright had permission to add WABI as a party defendant in his second amended complaint).

The trial court granted SCI's motion for summary judgment, and this Court previously affirmed that ruling. Wright II, 322 Ga.App. at 489-493 (1), (2), (3), (4). The trial court later granted WABI's motion to dismiss Wright's complaint for failure to state a claim. Wright appeals. For the reasons explained below, we reverse in part, as to the dismissal of Wright's breach of contract claim.

A trial court may grant a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted only if

(1) the allegations of the complaint disclose with certainty that the claimant would not be entitled to relief under any state of provable facts asserted in support thereof; and (2) the movant establishes that the claimant could not possibly introduce evidence within the framework of the complaint sufficient to warrant a grant of the relief sought. In deciding a motion to dismiss, all pleadings are to be construed most favorably to the party who filed them, and all doubts regarding such pleadings must be resolved in the filing party's favor.

[330 Ga.App. 509] (Citations and punctuation omitted.) Liberty County School Dist. v. Halliburton, 328 Ga.App. 422, 423 (762 S.E.2d 138) (2014). If, on the other hand, " within the framework of the complaint, evidence may be introduced which will sustain a grant of relief to the plaintiff, the complaint is sufficient[,]" and the trial court should deny a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. (Citation and punctuation omitted.) Id.

" In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the trial court must accept as true all well-pled material allegations in the complaint and must resolve any doubts in favor of the plaintiff." (Citations, punctuation and footnotes omitted.) Roberson v. Northrup, 302 Ga.App. 405 (691 S.E.2d 547) (2010).[1] As an appellate court, " [w]e review de novo a trial court's determination that a pleading fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, construing the pleadings in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and with any doubts resolved in ...


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