After a good deal of searching in a large variety of sources --
including Google, Lexis-Nexis (legal), and Pacer (direct access to
courts), it seems that there are not a great many fraud-related cases
pertaining to Autozone that have been published.
Here is the information I found pertaining to contract fraud and Autozone.
I have limited the results here to ordinary business contracts (as
opposed to contractural understandings between, say, an employee of
Autozone and the company regarding overtime pay).
[In Webcor v Autozone, Webcor sued for contract fraud regarding
specially-manufactured cartons for Autozone distributors, for a
product that Autozone ultimately discontinued, sticking Webcor with a
lot of unsellable inventory. However, through a convoluted arguement,
the court eventually found in favor of Autozone]
You can read about the case here:
CONTRACTS IN THE SIXTH CIRCUIT-1998
Statute of Frauds
Webcor Packaging Corp. v. Autozone, Inc.
In Webcor Packaging Corp. v. Autozone, Inc. the Sixth Circuit again
found an alleged agreement unenforceable under the statute of frauds. In this
case, Webcor contracted over several years with various vendors to
manufacture cartons with the Autozone trade name, Duralast. The changing
group of vendors who bought the Duralast cartons used them to package their
own automobile parts which they then sold to Autozone as "retail ready"
items.68 Autozone fostered Webcor's role in this production chain by directing
vendors to Webcor and by supplying Webcor with artwork and specifications
for Duralast packaging. Occasionally, Autozone purchased cartons from
Webcor for its own use...
and you can read the full case decision (if you're so inclined) here:
Webcor Packaging Corporation, a Michigan corporation,
Autozone, Inc., a Nevada corporation,
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit
NATHANIEL R. JONES, Circuit Judge. The parties in this case have
framed the issue as one of first impression: whether the "ultimate
purchaser" of unique goods may be considered as the buyer for purposes
of the specially manufactured goods exception to the statute of
frauds. We conclude that the district court was correct in its
reliance upon the circumstances of manufacture. In doing so, we take
this opportunity to refine and extend the analysis of the district
[Professional Bull Riders v Autozone is another breach of contract
case, and I must say, is one of the more legally convoluted disputes I
have come across. It was initially decided in favor of Autozone, but
has very recently (August 2005) been reversed by the Courts. As a
result, this is still an ongoing action, and it's not clear who will
come out on top. In a nutshell, Autozone verbally agreed to the terms
of a 2-year contract to sponsor the Professional Bull Riders, but felt
they had an option to terminate after a year. PBR felt otherwise, and
want to hold Autozone to the full two years of sponsorship. The
courts are working it out]
PROFESSIONAL BULL RIDERS, INC., a Colorado corporation,
AUTOZONE, INC., a Nevada corporation,
August 15, 2005
Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) filed this breach of contract
action against AutoZone, arguing that AutoZone entered into and then
breached an oral agreement to sponsor certain PBR events during 2001
and 2002: the Bud Light Cup Professional Bull Rider Series and the
Related Championship Finals. In response, AutoZone argued that the
agreement could not be performed within a year and was therefore void
under the Colorado statute of frauds, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-10-112.
AutoZone and Speedbar, Inc. (its wholly- owned subsidiary and the
owner of the trademark "AutoZone") also asserted counterclaims for
service mark infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition,
and service mark dilution.
The district court granted summary judgment to AutoZone on PBR's
breach of contract claim. However, as to the trademark infringement
counterclaims, the court ruled against AutoZone and Speedbar, granting
summary judgment to PBR on the grounds that AutoZone and Speedbar had
failed to offer any evidence that they had suffered actual damages.
The parties appealed, and, in a prior order, we certified a question
involving the Colorado statute of frauds to the Colorado Supreme
Court. See Professional Bull Riders, Inc. v. AutoZone, Inc., Nos.
03-1544, 04-1029, 2005 WL 34494801 (10th Cir. Feb 03, 2005). The
Colorado Supreme Court has now answered our question. See Professional
Bull Riders, Inc. v. AutoZone, Inc., 113 P.3d 757 (Colo. 2005). In
light of that answer, we conclude that the district court erred in
granting summary judgment to AutoZone on PBR's breach of contract
claim. We further conclude that the district court erred in granting
summary judgment to PBR on the counterclaims asserted by AutoZone and
Speedbar. We therefore reverse the district court's decisions and
remand for proceedings consistent with this order and judgment...
[An auto suppliers group calling itself "The Coalition for a Level
Playing Field" sued Autozone and other mega-autoparts stores for price
discrimination. Many of the other companies settled out of court.
Autozone refused to, forcing the case to court, where the ruling was
in favor of Autozone, but that's not necessarily the end of the story]
Here's the website of the Coalition:
Website for Auto Parts and Accessories Industry Price-Discrimination
Lawsuit - Coalition for a Level Playing Field, LLC, et al. v.
AutoZone, Inc., et. al, for Alleged Violation of Sections 2(a), 2(c)
and 2(f) of the Robinson-Patman Act, Filed 2/16/00
[there's a ton of industry-insider information here for anyone willing to dig]
[Here's an article about the lawsuit, and subsequent activity]
Coalition's appeal denied, issue far from over
Aftermarket Business, Feb, 2004
[And an excerpt from a law journal article...no hyperlink is available]
National Law Journal
April 7, 2003
Keeping cases in racing trim
In February 2000, the "Coalition for a Level Playing Field,"
representing more than 100 auto parts warehouse distributors and
jobbers, sued Autozone, Advance Auto Parts, Pep Boys, Wal-Mart and
five other national auto parts dealers, alleging price discrimination
in violation of the Robinson-Patman Act.
According to the complaint, filed in the Eastern District of New York,
Autozone and the other defendants obtained manufacturer discounts,
sham allowances and rebates that resulted in cheaper prices than those
offered to smaller auto parts wholesalers and retailers. The
plaintiffs sought injunctive relief and treble damages in excess of
Before the trial, the plaintiffs settled or dropped their claims
against all defendants, except Autozone and Advance Auto Parts. "We
feel that we operate at the highest ethical and legal standards, and
did not violate any laws," explained Goldsmith. The defendants
cooperated in the courtroom to defeat the plaintiffs' claim of
collusion in the marketplace, said Goldsmith.
[And not really a contract/fraud case, but possibly of interest just the same...]
AUTO PARTS RETAILERS PAY FOR EXCESSIVE CAR BATTERY FEES
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer today announced that the nation's two
leading auto parts retailers have agreed to pay $220,000 to settle a
case involving excessive fees on new car batteries.
AutoZone, Inc. of Memphis, Tennessee and Advance Stores Company, Inc.,
which does business as Advance Auto Parts, based in Roanoke, Virginia,
both settled allegations that they violated a state law that limits
the incentive fee charged to consumers purchasing lead-acid batteries.
I trust this information fully answers your question.
However, if there's anything more I can do for you, just post a
Request for Clarification, and I'm happy to assist you further.
search strategy -- Searched Google and a variety of specialty
databases for [ "v autozone" ]