Justia Contracts Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
Sompo Japan Ins., Inc. v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co.
Plaintiffs Sompo and Nipponkoa, subrogees of the cargo owners/shippers, filed suit against Defendants Norfolk Southern and KCSR to recover for the damages sustained to cargo by a train derailment. At issue in these appeals was the meaning and enforceability of provisions found in the bills of lading that purport to designate the ocean carrier as the sole entity responsible to the cargo owners for damage to the cargo. Further, Docket No. 13-3501 challenged Nipponkoa's ability to maintain its claim for contractual indemnification, a claim assigned to it by the upstream ocean carrier, against defendants. The court affirmed the judgment in Docket No. 13-3416 and concluded that summary judgment for defendants was proper where defendants are entitled to enforce the liability-limiting provision in the upstream carrier's bill of lading against plaintiffs. The court affirmed the judgment in Docket No. 13-3501 because defendants' arguments for reversal of Nipponkoa's judgment against them are all either waived or without merit. View "Sompo Japan Ins., Inc. v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co." on Justia Law
Crawford v. Franklin Credit Management Corp.
Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of her complaint alleging that defendants fraudulently procured a mortgage on her home, and thereafter sought to foreclose on that mortgage, in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1961 et seq., the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. 1691 et seq., the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq., the New York General Business Law, N. Y. Gen. Bus. Law 349, and common law. The district court denied plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment on the issues of liability and granted the motions of defendants for summary judgment dismissing the claims against them, ruling that, because plaintiff failed to disclose these claims in a 2006 proceeding under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, her present suit was barred for lack of standing or by collateral estoppel. The court considered all of the parties' arguments and, except to the extent indicated, have found them to be without merit. The court affirmed the judgment in regards to the denial of plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment in her favor and the grant of defendants' motions for summary judgment dismissing her claims under RICO, ECOA, New York Business Law 349, and for negligent misrepresentation. The court vacated so much of the judgment as dismissed plaintiff's claims for violation of TILA and for common-law fraud, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Crawford v. Franklin Credit Management Corp." on Justia Law
ING Global v. United Parcel Service Oasis Supply Corp.
After the jury returned a verdict in favor of ING on its breach of contract claims, the jury awarded ING attorney's fees under Georgia law. UPS moved under Rule 59(e) to amend the judgment to set aside the award of attorney's fees or, alternatively, for a new trial on the issue of attorney's fees. The court held that the district court erred in setting the verdict aside in light of UPS's failure to move for relief under Rule 50(a) and the existence of evidentiary support in the record for the jury's verdict. The court also concluded that a new trial was not warranted. Accordingly, the court reversed the order granting UPS's motion and remanded with instructions to reinstate the verdict and resolve ING's motion to set attorney's fees. View "ING Global v. United Parcel Service Oasis Supply Corp." on Justia Law
Giuffre Hyundai, Ltd. v. Hyundai Motor America, Inc.
Giuffre, an authorized dealer of Hyundai automobiles under a contract with that company's domestic affiliate (HMA), filed suit against HMA seeking to enjoin termination of the contract. HMA terminated its contract with Giuffre after a state court concluded that the dealer had engaged in fraudulent, illegal, and deceptive business practices - a clear breach of the contract terms. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of HMA, concluding that the breach was incurable and that HMA was entitled to terminate the contract immediately, notwithstanding the terms of section 463 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. The court affirmed, concluding that section 463 did not abrogate the common law with respect to incurable breaches of contract. View "Giuffre Hyundai, Ltd. v. Hyundai Motor America, Inc." on Justia Law
Keiler, et al. v. Harlequin Enterprises LTD et al.
Plaintiffs, authors of romance novels, filed a putative class action against Harlequin Enterprises and its subsidiaries contending that the Harlequin entities breached agreements with them and others by paying them artificially low royalties on the sale of digitized versions of their books. The district court dismissed under Ruled 12(b)(6). Based on the court's review of the Publishing Agreements, the court concluded that plaintiffs' first through third claims were not viable because the Publishing Agreements unambiguously provided that Harlequin subsidiaries HEBV or HBSA was the "Publisher" and Harlequin Enterprises was a "Related Licensee" for purposes of computing royalty payments. The court held that the fourth claim alleged sufficient facts to plead a breach of the Publishing Agreements on the theory that defendants calculated their e-book royalties based on an unreasonable license fee. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Keiler, et al. v. Harlequin Enterprises LTD et al. " on Justia Law
Price Trucking Corp. v. Norampac Indus., Inc.
Defendant paid a general contractor for costs associated with the cleanup of a contaminated parcel of land that defendant owned. After the general contractor failed to remit those payments to plaintiff, a subcontractor who performed the work, plaintiff sought payment directly from defendant. The court concluded that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. 9607, did not grant the subcontractor a right to recovery against defendant in these circumstances where defendant would effectively be required to pay twice for the same work performed. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's grant of partial summary judgment to plaintiff and remanded with instructions to grant summary judgment to defendant. View "Price Trucking Corp. v. Norampac Indus., Inc." on Justia Law
Deep Woods Holdings, L.L.C. v. Savings Deposit Ins. Fund
SDIF appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Deep Woods against SDIF on the issue of liability. The main issue on appeal was whether Deep Woods, through its predecessor-in-interest David Lichtenstein, timely exercised a call option within 45 days of the delivery by SDIF of the shares subject to the call option in accordance with a Stipulation entered into by the parties. The court concluded that Deep Woods failed to exercise its call option in a timely manner; found that SDIF properly preserved its argument that Lichtenstein failed to exercise timely his call option under the terms of the Stipulation; and concluded that SDIF rather than Deep Woods was entitled to summary judgment where Deep Woods failed to comply with the terms governing its exercise of the call option. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded. View "Deep Woods Holdings, L.L.C. v. Savings Deposit Ins. Fund" on Justia Law
Wilson v. Dantas
Plaintiff filed suit alleging that the Citibank defendants engaged in tortious conduct and breached contractual obligations owed to him in connection with private equity investments in Brazil. On appeal, plaintiff challenged the district court's dismissal of the complaint. The court held that the district court had jurisdiction to hear the case under the Edge Act, 12 U.S.C. 632, because plaintiff's claims arose out of a foreign financial operation. The court also concluded that the district court properly dismissed plaintiff's tort and contract claims against the Citibank defendants under Rule 12(b)(6). Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Wilson v. Dantas" on Justia Law
Nunn v. Massachusetts Casualty Ins.
Plaintiffs, former NBA referees, filed suit alleging breach of contract and/or seeking reformation with respect to each supplemental insurance policy that plaintiff had. Plaintiffs had relied on the insurance agent's representations that when plaintiffs where injured and unable to work as NBA referees, they would receive disability payments until the age of sixty-five. The court concluded that plaintiffs' failure to read the policy did not defeat their reasonable expectations. Pennsylvania law determined plaintiffs' right to reformation; absolved the insured from not reading the policy at delivery; and allowed the contract to be interpreted (or recast) from the date the carriers acted in a manner inconsistent with the insured's reasonable expectations of coverage. The policies that underlay Pennsylvania's substantive contract law of the reasonable expectations doctrine directly contradict those that drive Connecticut's view of when a claim for non-conforming coverage accrues. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's decision dismissing plaintiffs' breach of contract claims and remanded for further proceedings. View "Nunn v. Massachusetts Casualty Ins." on Justia Law
Hillside Metro Associates, LLC v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
This litigation arose out of the failure of WaMu and the assumption of WaMu's assets and liabilities by Chase from the FDIC, acting in its capacity as WaMu's receiver. On appeal, the FDIC and Chase challenged the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Hillside. The district court concluded that Hillside, which owned premises leased by WaMu before the financial crisis, had third-party standing to enforce the alleged assignment of WaMu's real estate lease to Chase under a purchase agreement between the FDIC and Chase, even though the FDIC validly repudiated the lease under section 212(e) of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, 12 U.S.C. 1821(e), and the parties to the purchase agreement asserted that it did not in fact assign the lease. The court held that Hillside lacked prudential standing to litigate whether WaMu's liabilities were assigned to Chase under the agreement because it was neither a contracting party nor a third-party beneficiary under the agreement. Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded with instructions to dismiss the complaint. View "Hillside Metro Associates, LLC v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A." on Justia Law