Where an agricultural supply co-op sued a landowner on a loan guaranty and the landowner brought a malicious prosecution action against the co-op after a court found that the landowner was not liable, the co-op’s belief that its claim against the landowner had merit was not reasonable, so the district court erred in holding that the evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to sustain the landowner’s claim that the suit against him lacked probable cause, and a “bevy of facts” suggested that the landowner was sued by the co-op to strong-arm him into meeting its demands, so the court also erred in finding that the landowner presented insufficient evidence of malice.
Judgment is reversed and remanded.
Stokes v. Southern States Cooperative, Inc. (MLW No. 62688/Case No. 10-3307 – 19 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Baldock, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, Miller, J. (Charles Sidney Gibson, Dermott, Arkansas, argued for appellant) (Mark Mayfield, Jonesboro, Arkansas, argued for appellee; Ryan Michael Wilson appeared on the brief).