Justia Delaware Court of Chancery Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Injury Law
CMS Inv. Holdings, LLC v. Castle
This letter opinion addressed Third-Party Defendants’ motions to dismiss Third-Party Plaintiffs’ amended third-party complaint. The Third-Party Defendants advanced four bases on which the amended complaint should be dismissed, including lack of personal jurisdiction, failure to state a claim, failure to comply with Court of Chancery Rule 23.1, and an unreasonable delay in bringing the amended complaint. The Court of Chancery granted the Third-Party Defendants’ motions to dismiss, holding that the Third-Party Plaintiffs’ claims were time-barred because the Third-Party Plaintiffs failed to identify a tolling doctrine or extraordinary circumstances sufficient to avoid application of laches. View "CMS Inv. Holdings, LLC v. Castle" on Justia Law
Marino v. Patriot Rail Co. LLC
The underlying action in this case took place in a California court and resulted in a jury award of compensatory damages of $22.3 million in favor of Sierra Railroad Company and against Patriot Rail Company LLC. The jury also awarded punitive damages and exemplary damages in favor of Sierra. Sierra moved to amend the California judgment to add Gary Marino, the former Chairman, President and CEO of Patriot Rail, as a judgment debtor. Marino subsequently commenced this action seeking advancements of attorneys’ fees and expenses for the claims asserted against him in the post-judgment motion. The Court of Chancery granted summary judgment in favor of Marino, holding that Marino was entitled to some, but not all, of the fees and expenses that he has and will incur defending against the post-judgment motion. View "Marino v. Patriot Rail Co. LLC" on Justia Law
The Bancorp Bank v. Cross & Simon, LLC
Plaintiff filed this action against Defendant seeking a declaration that it had a superior lien on funds to which Defendant also claimed an entitlement. Plaintiff brought two counts against Defendant, one requesting a declaration that Plaintiff was entitled to the immediate release and receipt of all funds at issue and the other alleging conversion. Defendant moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and for failure to join an indispensable party. The Court of Chancery dismissed the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, holding (1) Plaintiff’s application for declaratory relief should be heard in superior court because that court has the power and ability to resolve a lien dispute and because Plaintiff has an adequate and complete remedy at law; and (2) Plaintiff’s second count for conversion asserts a legal right and implicates a legal remedy, and therefore, the Court of Chancery lacks subject matter jurisdiction to address it. View "The Bancorp Bank v. Cross & Simon, LLC" on Justia Law
Am. Messaging Servs., LLC v. DocHalo, LLC
American Messaging Services, LLC (AMS) purchased an ownership interest in DocHalo, LLC. The parties entered into an agreement establishing the terms of their business relationship. After AMS discovered that DocHalo had contacted some of AMS’s sales personnel about joining DocHalo and had unilaterally reached out to some of AMS’s customers, AMS filed a complaint alleging breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, misappropriation of trade secrets, and tortious interference with contractual relations. AMS sought a temporary restraining order seeking DocHalo from contacting its customers and sales personnel. The Court of Chancery denied the motion, holding that while AMS established colorable claims against DocHalo, it did not appear to face imminent and irreparable harm that would justify extraordinary relief. View "Am. Messaging Servs., LLC v. DocHalo, LLC" on Justia Law
Hon. Karen Stewart v. Wilmington Trust SP Servs., Inc.
Plaintiffs were four Delaware-domiciled captive insurance companies. The State Insurance Commissioner prosecuted their claims as their receiver in liquidation, alleging fraudulent conduct on the part of the companies’ president, breach of fiduciary duty on the part of the other directors of the corporation, and, as to the companies’ auditors and their administrative management company, aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and negligence. The Court of Chancery dismissed in part the claims against the auditors and their company, holding (1) the doctrine of in pari delicto applies in this case and effectively bars the relevant claims against those defendants; (2) Plaintiffs’ claims for breach of contract and negligence are dismissed on grounds of in pari delicto, but the fiduciary duty exception to in pari delicto covers Plaintiffs’ claims for aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty; and (3) Plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss their claims for aiding and abetting against each of the auditors and the administrative management company is denied, except as they relate to the auditor that was retained second. View "Hon. Karen Stewart v. Wilmington Trust SP Servs., Inc." on Justia Law
Mack v. Mack
In 1979, Mother and Daughter set up joint checking and savings accounts. In 2006, Daughter withdrew almost all of the funds from the joint savings account without first informing Mother. Mother and Daughter also jointly owned real estate. Mother filed an action against Daughter, alleging that Daughter improperly converted the funds held in the joint bank account and that Daughter's lack of cooperation and obstructive behavior regarding the property amounted to waste. The Court of Chancery entered judgment in favor of Daughter, holding (1) Mother failed to show that Daughter agreed that the joint account would be established for Mother’s benefit and family emergencies or that Mother was otherwise successful in modifying the joint tenancy provisions of the Bank’s account documentation; and (2) Daughter was not liable for waste. View "Mack v. Mack" on Justia Law
Posted in: Injury Law
Evans v. Bayer Corp.
Augustus Evans, who was incarcerated, filed two actions that he sought to bring in Chancery against Bayer Corp. and Johnson & Johnson Co. alleging that he had been injured by pharmaceutical products manufactured and sold by Defendants. Evans sought to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court of Chancery denied the motions to proceed in forma pauperis, holding that Evans could not establish jurisdiction in the Court because Evans’ claims neither sought equitable relief nor involved equitable subject matter and because the statutory bases recited by Evans did not support equitable jurisdiction, and therefore, permitting Evans to proceed in forma pauperis in the Court would be futile. View "Evans v. Bayer Corp." on Justia Law
Xcell Energy & Coal Co., LLC v. Energy Inv. Group, LLC
Xcell Energy and Coal Company, LLC (Xcell) defaulted on its loan obligations to a creditor. Through a court-appointed receiver, Xcell alleged that its past manager and member were liable for their mismanagement and misconduct that allegedly caused the defaults. Xcell asserted claims for breach of fiduciary duty and waste against Energy Investment Group (EIG) and Polo Investments, LLC (Polo) and for aiding and abetting, tortious interference with a contract, and waste against Edmod DiClemente (together with EIG and Polo, the Moving Defendants). The Moving Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The Court of Chancery granted the Moving Defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to allege the requisite elements to state a claim against the Moving Defendants. View "Xcell Energy & Coal Co., LLC v. Energy Inv. Group, LLC" on Justia Law
eCommerce Indus., Inc. v. MWA Intelligence, Inc.
The party to an exclusive marketing, license, and distribution agreement (licensee) brought contract and tort claims in California against the other parties to that agreement and their affiliated companies (licensors). The defendants in that action, including the licensors, were the plaintiffs in this action. Plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment that the agreement was properly terminated and injunctive relief relating to the agreement's confidentiality and termination provisions. Defendant asserted counterclaims for breach of contract, among other claims. The Court of Chancery awarded the licensee damages against the licensors, their parent, and a sister company, holding (1) those plaintiffs who were parties to the agreement breached the non-compete provision of that agreement or the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and those plaintiffs and a sister company were liable in tort for tortious interference with contract; (2) the additional named plaintiffs were not liable in contract or tort; (3) the agreement was properly terminated, and Defendant was required to comply with the agreement's termination and confidentiality provisions; and (4) both parties' requests for attorneys' fees were denied. View "eCommerce Indus., Inc. v. MWA Intelligence, Inc." on Justia Law
Grzybowski v. Tracy
Plaintiffs bought a townhouse condominium unit from Defendant. After the sale, repairs of leaks in the other condominium units caused by poor construction required the condominium board to collect special assessments in the amount of $65,000 from each unit holder, including Plaintiffs. Recoupment from the builder offset the sum, but Plaintiffs remained out-of-pocket over $40,000. Plaintiffs sued Defendant, alleging fraud and equitable fraud due to Defendant's allegedly insufficient disclosures made to Plaintiffs before the sale. The Court of Chancery entered judgment in favor of Defendant, holding (1) Plaintiffs failed to prove Defendant committed common-law fraud because they failed to show Defendant misrepresented or omitted some material fact before the sale of the condominium; and (2) rescission was not warranted under the facts of this case, and therefore, equitable fraud was inappropriate. View "Grzybowski v. Tracy" on Justia Law