Bong v. Cerny

In Bong v. Cerny, 158 Wis. 2d 474, 478, 463 N.W.2d 359 (Ct. App. 1990), the Bongs were jobbers for the Neumans who were distributors for Technical Rubber Company (Tech Rubber). See Bong, 158 Wis. 2d 474 at 479. The distributorship was later sold to Larry Cerny, who terminated the Bongs. The Bongs sued both Cerny and Tech Rubber, claiming that the agreement between Tech Rubber and the Neumans made the Neumans agents of Tech Rubber, and when the Neumans hired the Bongs, they became Tech Rubber's distributors. See id. The Bongs sued, believing they were unlawfully terminated under the WFDL. The Bongs also relied on several contract provisions between the Neumans and Tech Rubber to support their claim that the level of control given to Tech Rubber in Neumans' contract made the Neumans Tech Rubber's agent. See Bong, 158 Wis. 2d 474 at 480. Bong held to the contrary: "However, the express agreement between Tech Rubber and the Neumans does not grant a dealership to anyone. It merely authorizes further agreements, which may or may not occur, between the Neumans and unidentified third parties. The express agreement granted nothing to the Bongs." (Bong, 158 Wis. 2d at 480.)