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Ropes & Gray Litigation Team Secures Trial Victory for TravelCenters of America

Practices: Business & Commercial Litigation

TravelCenters of America LLC (TA) announced on Sept. 11 that it won its litigation against Comdata, Inc. regarding the fees charged by Comdata to TA for processing payments at TA’s locations using Comdata fuel cards.

TA began its litigation against Comdata on November 30, 2016 in response to communications from Comdata alleging that TA had breached certain agreements, which require Comdata to process customer transactions using Comdata cards at set fees through January 2, 2022. Comdata had asserted that it was no longer bound by this contract and unilaterally raised the processing fees charged TA effective February 1, 2017. TA has previously publicly estimated that the excess fees being charged by Comdata have cost TA approximately $900,000 per month.

The Court’s decision is included in a 101 page opinion issued by Chancellor Andre Bouchard of the Delaware Court of Chancery after extensive discovery and a four day trial which concluded earlier this year. Both TA and Comdata are organized under Delaware law. The decision orders Comdata to honor TA’s contract terms and to reimburse TA for all excess amounts charged to TA since February 1, 2017, plus interest. The decision also requires Comdata to reimburse TA for its reasonable attorneys’ fees.

“TA is pleased with today’s decision. The Court has found that Comdata did not have a proper basis for breaching its long standing agreements with TA and the Court noted that the evidence presented suggests that ‘Comdata’s representation that the February rates are what a merchant similar in size to TA would pay was not entirely honest,’” said Tom O’Brien, President and Chief Executive Officer of TA.

A Ropes & Gray team led by business & securities litigation partners Jane WillisMatthew McGinnis (both of Boston) and C. Thomas Brown (New York) represented TA.