This Weeks Cases

U.S. District Court of Delaware

MacQueen v. Union Carbide Corp., DeFAX Case No. D66611 (D. Del. Dec. 3, 2014) Burke, J. (18 pages).

Plaintiff failed to make a prima facie showing that personal jurisdiction existed over defendant, thus the court recommended granting defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's asbestos-related personal injury action against it.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Discovery , Torts , Personal Injury

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Davis v. 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66607 (D. Del. Dec. 3, 2014) Sleet, J. (9 pages).

Where defendant was "initial aggressor," affirmative defenses were subject to statutes of limitations; and defendant could not establish reasonable reliance where earlier finding of inquiry notice established that corporate officers had sufficient information to place corporation on notice of alleged misconduct. Plaintiff's request for summary judgment granted.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Torts , Affirmative Defenses , Motion Practice

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Ware v. Transp. Drivers Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66614 (D. Del. Dec. 3, 2014) Robinson, J. (5 pages).

The court granted defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's pro se employment discrimination action, since his amended complaint was nearly identical to his original complaint and failed to state a claim under any legal theory.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Discrimination , Race Discrimination , Civil Procedure , Motion Practice , Pre-trial Procedure

Delaware Court of Chancery

Nationstar Mortgage LLC v. Carey, DeFAX Case No. D66612 (Del. Ch. Nov. 26, 2014) Ayvazian, M.C. (6 pages).

Plaintiff mortgage company was entitled to immediate payment in full upon the mortgagor's death, since the surviving spouse was not a surviving borrower.

Practice Areas: Creditors

Delaware Court of Chancery

Cigna Health and Life Ins. Co. v. Audax Health Solutions, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66608 (Del. Ch. Nov. 26, 2014) Parsons, V.C. (34 pages).

Following a corporate merger, payment to shareholders of merger consideration could not be conditioned on release of any future claims against the acquirer, in the absence of any consideration for imposing such an obligation, or on a signed indemnification that violated a Delaware statute governing merger agreements. Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the pleadings granted in part and denied in part.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Shareholder Derivative Suits , Mergers and Acquisitions , Civil Procedure , Motion Practice

Delaware Superior Court

Reybold Venture Group XVI LLC v. Cresswell, DeFAX Case No. D66613 (Del. Super. Nov. 26, 2014) Cooch, J. (9 pages).

Specific provisions in a guarantor's promise to pay unpaid lease installment payments trumped more general provision referring to "all representations" under a new lease, limiting the guarantor's liability only to a court-ordered judgment, not also to additional unpaid rent owed by the tenant. Defendant's amended motion for summary judgment granted.

Practice Areas: Landlord/Tenant Law , Contracts

Courts of Common Pleas

Williams v. Dorsey, DeFAX Case No. D66615 (C.P. New Castle Oct. 29, 2014) Welch, J. (5 pages).

Plaintiff's complaint on appeal raised additional issues that she did not present in the original complaint in the Justice of the Peace Court, thus the Court of Common Pleas lacked jurisdiction over the appeal and granted defendant's motion to dismiss.

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil , Procedure , Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Motion Practice

Courts of Common Pleas

Debro v. Giles, DeFAX Case No. D66616 (C.P. New Castle Oct. 21, 2014) Welch, J. (5 pages).

The court denied plaintiff's motion for default judgment, since plaintiff never properly served defendant with the summons and complaint.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Pre-trial Procedure

Third Circuit

Duffy v. Kent County Levy Court, DeFAX Case No. D66598 (3d Cir. Nov. 14, 2014) per curiam (9 pages).

County's demolition of storm-damaged, privately-owned structures did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, did not constitute taking of property without compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment, and did not result in an unlawful seizure under the Fourth Amendment. District court judgments summarily affirmed.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law , Civil Rights

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66605 (D. Del. Nov. 26, 2014) Stark, J. (27 pages)

Stockholder's request that corporation distribute proxy materials seeking shareholder vote on gun sales dealt with matters not related to Wal-Mart's ordinary business operations and therefore should not have been denied. Injunctive relief and declaratory judgment granted in favor of plaintiff.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Shareholder Rights , Corporate Governance/Compliance , Civil Procedure , Motion Practice

Delaware Supreme Court

Black v. Justice of the Peace Court 13, DeFAX Case No. D66597 (Del. Nov. 25, 2014) Holland, J. (9 pages).

The Superior Court improperly dismissed appellants' petition for a writ of certiorari seeking review of Justice of the Peace Court 13's judgment, since the petition demonstrated that the judgment was final and set forth claims that the lower tribunal committed errors of law and proceeded irregularly.

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil , Constitutional Law , Landlord/Tenant Law

Delaware Court of Chancery

Roncone v. Phoenix Payment Sys. Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66604 (Del. Ch. Nov. 26, 2014) Noble, V.C. (19 pages).

The court confirmed the arbitrator's final award in former sales employee's dispute with former employer over unpaid sales commissions and dismissed defendants' counterclaims.

Practice Areas: Alternative Dispute Resolution , Arbitration (ADR) , Contractual Clauses , Medical Malpractice

Delaware Court of Chancery

Mack v. Mack, DeFAX Case No. D66602 (Del. Ch. Nov. 28, 2014) Noble, V.C. (15 pages).

In a dispute between mother and daughter, mother did not prove that daughter improperly converted funds in a joint bank account or that daughter's actions with regard to a jointly-owned dwelling amounted to waste.

Practice Areas: Banking and Financial Institutions , Contracts , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Delaware Court of Chancery

Wells Fargo Bank NA v. Strong, DeFAX Case No. D66606 (Del. Ch. Nov. 19, 2014) Glasscock, V.C. (11 pages).

The court denied bank's exception to the Master's Report recommending dismissal of bank's complaint seeking the imposition of an equitable lien on defendant's real property, as plaintiff's attempt to transfer the action to the Court of Chancery from the Superior Court was untimely.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Pre-trial Procedure , Creditors

Delaware Court of Chancery

In re Novell, Inc. S'holder Litig., DeFAX Case No. D66599 (Del. Ch. Nov. 25, 2014) Noble, V.C. (32 pages).

Contention by former shareholders that directors acted in bad faith by treating pre-merger bidders differently for reasons other than in the best interests of the corporation and its stockholders was unsupported by any factual allegations calling into question the motives of a majority of the board's members. Motion for summary judgment granted.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Shareholder Derivative Suits , Mergers and Acquisitions

Delaware Court of Chancery

In re Sanchez Energy Derivative Litig., DeFAX Case No. D66600 (Del. Ch. Nov. 25, 2014) Glasscock, V.C. (32 pages).

Derivative plaintiffs' failure to make pre-suit demand on corporate board could not be excused where plaintiffs made only conclusory allegations in support of their claim for breach of fiduciary duty. Defendants' motion to dismiss granted.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Shareholder Derivative Suits , Civil Procedure , Motion Practice

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Kabbaj v. Am. Sch. of Tangier, DeFAX Case No. D66590 (D. Del. Nov. 12, 2014) Andrews, (16 pages).

Plaintiff failed to establish that a specific district court judge was personally prejudiced against plaintiff, warranting recusal from plaintiff's case. Motions for judicial recusal denied.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Motion Practice

Delaware Supreme Court

Taylor v. State, DeFAX Case No. D66591 (Del. Nov. 12, 2014) Holland, J. (5 pages).

The sentence the Superior Court imposed on defendant after he failed to report to the correctional institution to begin serving his original sentence was within the prescribed statutory limits.

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Criminal , Criminal Law

Delaware Supreme Court

In the Matter of Cairns, DeFAX Case No. D66589 (Del. Nov. 12, 2014) Strine, C.J. (2 pages).

The Delaware Supreme Court transferred attorney to disability inactive status due to his physical or mental health problems that adversely affected his ability to practice law.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession

Delaware Court of Chancery

Lee v. Pincus, DeFAX Case No. D66592 (Del. Ch. Nov. 14, 2014) Bouchard, C. (36 pages).

Where defendant corporation and its directors modified the terms of a stock lockup to favor members of the board, their motion to dismiss a stockholder's class action complaint challenging the self-dealing transaction was denied.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Shareholder Rights , Contracts , Breach , Insider Trading

Delaware Court of Chancery

In the Matter of Estate of Blums, DeFAX Case No. D66588 (Del. Ch. Nov. 12, 2014) LeGrow, M.C. (15 pages).

Circumstances of family history during war years in Latvia warranted admission of hearsay accounts in support of long-lost relative's claim to portion of decedent's estate. Chancery's master's final report recommending finding as to heirs and granting of petition for decree of distribution.

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates , Evidence , Hearsay

Delaware Superior Court

Doe v. Slater, DeFAX Case No. D66587 (Del. Super. Nov. 12, 2014) Vaughn, P.J. (7 pages).

Defendants in a personal injury lawsuit sought to compel production of medical and psychiatric records indicating plaintiff's mental state prior to the car accident. Defendants' motion for reconsideration granted in part.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Torts , Personal Injury , Evidence , Privileges

Delaware Superior Court

Bank of Delmarva v. South Shore Ventures, LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66593 (Del. Super. Oct. 21, 2014) Graves, J. (10 pages).

Property owner brought counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duty and fair dealing and negligence against bank for failing to notify owner of bank's submission of a claim under bank's title insurance policy regarding a defect in the property's title. Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment granted.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Statute of Limitations

Courts of Common Pleas

Marconi v. Brandywine Chrysler Jeep, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66595 (C.P. New Castle Nov. 7, 2014) Smalls, J. (10 pages).

Auto dealership and manufacturer, against whom a breach of warranty action had been brought, alleged that owners' complaint on appeal failed to state a claim, violated the mirror image rule and was time barred. Defendants' motion to dismiss/summary judgment dismissed.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Motion Practice , Statute of Limitations , Contracts , Warranties

U.S. District Court of Delaware

In re Joan Fabrics Corp., DeFAX Case No. D66580 (D. Del. Nov. 5, 2014) Andrews, J. (5 pages).

North Carolina county's tax lien on bankruptcy debtor's property was "of record" and therefore enforceable where lien had been recorded in county tax records. Bankruptcy court order denying purchaser's motion to enforce sale order affirmed.

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Krahn v. Meixell, DeFAX Case No. D66585 (D. Del. Nov. 10, 2014) Stark, J. (13 pages).

Probation and parole officers were entitled to summary judgment in plaintiff's civil rights action arising from officers' attempt to apprehend plaintiff, who had a warrant out for his arrest.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law , Civil Procedure , Motion Practice , Civil Rights

Delaware Supreme Court

Carter v. State, DeFAX Case No. D66578 (Del. Nov. 12, 2014) Ridgely, J. (8 pages).

The court affirmed defendant's convictions, finding that he failed to raise any arguably appealable issue in response to his counsel's brief and motion to withdraw under Supreme Court Rule 26(c).

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Criminal , Evidence , Admissibility , Constitutional Law

Delaware Supreme Court

Bailey v. Div. of Family Servs., DeFAX Case No. D66576 (Del. Nov. 13, 2014) Ridgely, J. (7 pages).

There was ample evidence on the record to support the family court's termination of mother's parental rights on the statutory basis that she failed to plan adequately for her children and because termination was clearly in the children's best interests.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support , Appellate Law - Civil

Delaware Supreme Court

The North River Ins. Co. v. Mine Safety Appliances Co., DeFAX Case No. D66586 (Del. Nov. 6, 2014) Valihura, J. (39 pages).

Equities did not weigh in favor of insurance company's request that insured be ordered not to assign to individual tort claimants the right to recover under insurance policies issued to insured. Judgment affirming chancery court's denial of request for permanent injunctive relief.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law , Civil Procedure , Provisional Remedies , Products Liability

Delaware Supreme Court

Campos v. Daisy Constr. Co., DeFAX Case No. D66577 (Del. Nov. 13, 2014) Strine, C.J. (24 pages).

The Superior Court erred in affirming the Industrial Accident Board's finding that employer proved former employee did not have reduced earning power after a workplace injury, since employer failed to show that former employee was actually able to obtain a job given his particular circumstances, including his undocumented worker status.

Practice Areas: Social Services Law , Workers

Delaware Court of Chancery

In re Allergan, Inc. Stockholder Litig., DeFAX Case No. D66582 (Del. Ch. Nov. 7, 2014) Bouchard, C. (24 pages).

Stockholders' request for declaratory relief sought advisory opinion regarding hypothetical proxy strategy that was not yet ripe for review, and claim against board of directors for breach of fiduciary duty lacked support of factual record. Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment denied.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Mergers and Acquisitions , Appellate Law - Civil , Civil Procedure

Delaware Superior Court

Deere & Co. v. Exelon Generation Acquisitions LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66579 (Del. Super. Nov. 10, 2014) Vaughn, J. (11 pages).

Defendant sufficiently alleged recoupment and unjust enrichment counterclaims to survive a motion to dismiss under the minimal "conceivability" pleading standard in plaintiff's breach of contract action arising out of a purchase agreement.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Civil Procedure , Motion Practice , Pre-trial Procedure

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Eaton v. Jeff White's Auto Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66568 (D. Del. Nov. 5, 2014) Andrews, J. (13 pages).

The court granted defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint based on the doctrine of res judicata, collateral estoppel and failure to state a claim.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Motion Practice , Judgments , White Collar Crime , RICO

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Golovan v. Univ. of Del., DeFAX Case No. D66570 (D. Del. Nov. 6, 2014) Andrews, (20 pages).

Tenure-track assistant professor who was dismissed from his job failed to plead triable issues of material fact supporting claims for deprivation of Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process, breach of contract, First Amendment retaliation, or violation of Delaware Whistleblowers' Protection Act. Defendants' motion for summary judgment granted.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Whistle-blower Law , Hiring/Firing , Contracts , Breach

Delaware Supreme Court

Lockwood v. Capano, DeFAX Case No. D66571 (Del. Nov. 10, 2014) Ridgely, J. (7 pages).

A material dispute of fact on the issue of contract formation precluded summary judgment for any party in an action arising from a failed business venture.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Formation , Civil Procedure , Motion Practice

Delaware Supreme Court

Lowther v. State, DeFAX Case No. D66572 (Del. Nov. 6, 2014) Holland, J. (14 pages).

The court affirmed defendant's convictions for assault in the second degree and terroristic threatening, as the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions and the trial court did not commit plain error in its jury instruction.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Appellate Law - Criminal

Delaware Supreme Court

Hansley v. State, DeFAX Case No. D66569 (Del. Oct. 27, 2014; corrected Nov. 5, 2014) Ridgely, J. (12 pages).

The trial court reversibly erred in excluding certain relevant testimony in violation of the Delaware Rules of Evidence, thus defendant's drug-related convictions were reversed and the case was remanded.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Admissibility , Relevance , Appellate Law - Criminal

Delaware Court of Chancery

Theravectys SA v. Immune Design Corp., DeFAX Case No. D66575 (Del. Ch. Oct. 31, 2014) Noble, V.C. (14 pages).

Plaintiff's failure to establish that deendant's corporate affiliate had possession or custody of documents relating to manufacturing, testing, and shipment of pharmaceutical products manufactured by corporate affiliate for defendant warranted protective order denying plaintiff's request for document production. Third party's motion for protective order granted in part and denied in part.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Intellectual Property , Trade Secrets , Provisional Remedies

Delaware Court of Chancery

Scanbuy, Inc. v. NeoMedia Tech., Inc., LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66573 (Del. Ch. Oct. 31, 2014) Noble, V.C. (13 pages).

A dispute arose as to whether the forum selection clause in a licensing agreement survived cancellation of the license needed to be resolved by a Georgia court. Motion to dismiss granted, and complaint dismissed without prejudice.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Venue , Intellectual Property , Patents , Infringement (Patents) , Contracts , Interpretation

Delaware Court of Chancery

Yucaipa American Alliance Fund I, LP v. SBDRE LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66576 (Del. Ch. Oct. 31, 2014) Parsons, V.C. (41 pages).

Covenant not to sue in credit agreement regarding administration of bankruptcy debtor's debts and creditors' rights barred controlling stockholder from obtaining "requisite lender" status, with right to force other lenders to forbear from exercising their rights. Motion to dismiss or dismiss complaint granted, denied and stayed in part.

Practice Areas: Creditors

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Colahar v. Wells Fargo Bank NA, DeFAX Case No. D66557 (D. Del. Oct. 31, 2014) Robinson, J. (8 pages).

The court found that under Younger, it was required to abstain from hearing plaintiffs' case because it interfered with certain state proceedings. Creditors' motion to dismiss granted.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Motion Practice

Delaware Supreme Court

Official Comm. of Unsecured Creditors of Motors Liquidation Co. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., DeFAX Case No. D66560 (Del. Oct. 17, 2014) Strine, C.J. (14 pages).

Under Delaware law, for a UCC-3 termination statement to effectively extinguish the perfected nature of a UCC-1 financing statement, it is enough that the secured lender reviewed and knowingly approved for filing a UCC-3 purporting to extinguish the perfected security interest; there is no additional requirement that the lender have intended the legal consequences of the filing. The Delaware Supreme Court issued a decision in response to a certification of Delaware law issued by the Second Circuit of the Court of Appeals.

Practice Areas: Commercial Law , Secured Transactions , Bankruptcy , Creditors

Delaware Court of Chancery

Szubielski v. Correct Care Solutions, LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66565 (Del. Ch. Oct. 31, 2014) Noble, V.C. (17 pages).

State prisoner's civil rights complaint stated Eighth Amendment claims against private contractor health care provider for failing to provide physical therapy and pain medications. Defendant's motion to dismiss denied with respect to Eighth Amendment claims denied.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights , Health Law , Constitutional Law

Delaware Court of Chancery

Biggins v. Phelps, DeFAX Case No. D66563 (Del. Ch. Oct. 31, 2014) Noble, V.C. (8 pages).

The court found that plaintiff-inmate could not proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to the "three strikes" rule and thus declined to consider the merits of his complaint until the action was properly filed.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights , Constitutional Law

Delaware Court of Chancery

Vanderbilt Mortgage & Fin. Inc. v. Thomas, DeFAX Case No. D66566 (Del. Ch. Oct. 30, 2014) Ayvazian, M.C. (12 pages).

The master in chancery recommended the court deny creditor's motion for summary judgment on claims against debtors for unjust enrichment, reformation of a deed of trust and imposition of a constructive trust.

Practice Areas: Creditors

Delaware Court of Chancery

Higher Educ. Mgmt. Group, Inc. v. Mathews, DeFAX Case No. D66558 (Del. Ch. Nov. 3, 2014) Parsons, V.C. (36 pages).

Shareholders failed adequately to plead claim that corporate directors of online educational institution concocted false story regarding existence of bad loans in order to account for missing funds. Defendants' motions to dismiss granted.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Shareholder Derivative Suits , Corporate Governance/Compliance

Delaware Court of Chancery

Quadrant Structured Prods. Co. Ltd. v. Vertin, DeFAX Case No. D66564 (Del. Ch. Oct. 28, 2014) Laster, V.C. (11 pages).

Plaintiff failed to carry its burden of proof on its Rule 59(e) motion for reconsideration of the dismissal of its derivative suit challenging corporation's board of directors' business strategy.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Shareholder Derivative Suits , Corporate Governance/Compliance , Creditors

Courts of Common Pleas

Roman v. Fantasy Lane Thoroughbred Racing Stable LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66561 (C.P. New Castle Oct. 10, 2014) Smalls, C.J. (16 pages).

The court entered a judgment in favor of plaintiff in the amount of $13,895.19 in his breach of contract action arising from a partnership agreement regarding a thoroughbred racehorse.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Business Entities , Partnerships

U.S. District Court of Delaware

McKee v. PetSmart Inc., DeFAX Case No. 66548 (D. Del. Oct. 15, 2014) Fallon, J. (7 pages).

Defendant did not waive the attorney-client privilege by asserting a "good faith" affirmative defense in a class action lawsuit based on the Fair Labor Standards Act. Plaintiffs' motion to compel denied in part.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Privileges , Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery , Labor and Employment , Labor Law

Delaware Supreme Court

Bendfeldt v. HSBC Mortgage Corp., DeFAX Case No. D66551 (Del. Oct. 7, 2014) Ridgely, J. (4 pages).

The court affirmed the grant of lender's motion to affirm default judgment and proceed to a sheriff sale, since mortgagors failed to meet their burden of showing that the default judgment against them should be vacated.

Practice Areas: Creditors

Delaware Supreme Court

Fuller v. Delaware, DeFAX Case No. D66552 (Del. Oct. 21, 2014) Strine, C.J. (30 pages).

Delaware Code Title 21 motor vehicle violations do not constitute "subsequent adult convictions" for purposes of expungement of juvenile court records. Reversed.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Motor Vehicles (Criminal) , Family Law , Juvenile Law

Delaware Court of Chancery

Willis v. PCA Pain Ctr. of Va., Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66550 (Del. Ch. Oct. 20, 2014) Noble, V.C. (24 pages).

The Delaware Court of Chancery had equitable jurisdiction over suit seeking to force defendant to transfer ownership of business to plaintiffs, but action had to be stayed pending filed resolution of action filed in another state a few day earlier. Motions denied as to motion to dismiss and granted as to request for stay.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Contracts

Delaware Court of Chancery

Lake Treasure Holdings, Ltd. v. Foundry Hill GP LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66547 (Del. Ch. Oct. 10, 2014) Laster, V.C. (37 pages).

A developer of a software-based trading business breached his duty of loyalty to investors when he covertly transferred software to a third party for a fraction of what he thought it was worth; but, where in fact the ostensibly valuable software was a simplistic arrangement of public domain components and concepts, an award of only nominal damages was warranted. Judgment in favor of plaintiffs following trial on claims of fraudulent transfer and misappropriation of trade secrets, with order directing payment of nominal damages, rescission of transfers, and costs to prevailing parties.

Practice Areas: Intellectual Property , Trade Secrets , Contracts , Breach

Delaware Court of Chancery

ReCor Medical Inc. v. Warnking, DeFAX Case No. D66554 (Del. Ch. Oct. 15, 2014) Noble, V.C. (10 pages).

Plaintiff was entitled to $923,349.26 in attorney fees, which reflected reductions for additional litigation that plaintiff's actions caused and defendants' costs for litigation that conferred a distinct benefit upon plaintiff.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery , Civil Procedure , Judgments , Intellectual Property , Patents

Delaware Court of Chancery

In the Matter of Estate of Hall, DeFAX Case No. D66553 (Del. Ch. Oct. 2, 2014) Ayvazian, M.C. (30 pages).

An elderly decedent's children failed to establish that their parent's decision to leave most of his property to his second wife was the result of undue influence where the evidence disclosed plausible alternative explanations for the decedent's pre-death decisions.

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates

Delaware Superior Court

Tunnell Cos. LP v. Greenawalt, DeFAX Case No. D66555 (Del. Super. Oct. 14, 2014) Graves, J. (13 pages).

In this matter of first impression, plaintiff failed to justify an increase in rent in its manufactured communities above the statutorily allowed amount.

Practice Areas: Landlord/Tenant Law , Administrative Law

U.S. District Court of Delaware

United States v. Lopez, DeFAX Case No. D66545 (D. Del. Oct. 10, 2014) Sleet, J. (6 pages).

In the interest of justice, defendant was entitled to a new trial because the trial court failed to provide any supportive reasoning on the record for its decision to grant government's motion in limine seeking to admit evidence of a prior conviction.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence , Admissibility

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Hardwire, LLC v. Zero Int'l, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66539 (D. Del. Oct. 14, 2014) Burke, M.J. (35 pages).

No oral contract was created while parties negotiated by email for sale of goods; contract was established when buyer emailed purchase order that included purchaser's standard terms, including forum selection clause. Magistrate's recommendation that motion to dismiss be denied.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Formation , Interpretation , Civil Procedure , Venue

Delaware Supreme Court

Phillips v. Wilks, Lukoff & Bracegirdle, LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66536 (Del. Oct. 1, 2014) Ridgely, J. (12 pages).

Defendant in legal firm's claims for fees and breach of contract failed to show that his proffered expert was familiar with standard of practice in Delaware, that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment without deciding pending motions, that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment in agreement with the plaintiff's breach of contract claim, or that the defendant should have been allowed to depose his former attorneys after the discovery cutoff date. Judgment of trial court affirmed.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Formation , Breach , Legal Profession , Attorney Malpractice

Delaware Supreme Court

Albertson v. BAC Home Loan Servicing LP, DeFAX Case No. D66542 (Del. Oct. 1, 2014) Ridgely, J. (4 pages).

The grant of summary judgment to mortgage assignee after foreclosure of appellants' property was affirmed, since the assignment of the mortgage was valid.

Practice Areas: Creditors

Delaware Court of Chancery

Pontone v. Milso Industries Corp., DeFAX Case No. D66537 (Del. Ch. Oct. 6, 2014) Parsons, V.C. (12 pages).

In proceedings addressing motions for certification of interlocutory appeals from rulings in an advancement proceeding, both sides presented issues relating to proper standard for determining when a counterclaim can be advanced. Order granting both sides' motions for certification of interlocutory appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Motion Practice , Appellate Law - Civil , Interlocutory Appeal

Delaware Court of Chancery

Knutkowski v. Cross, DeFax Case No. D66541 (Del. Ch. Oct. 13, 2014) Glasscock, V.C. (8 pages).

The six-year statute of limitations partially barred plaintiff's suit on a promissory note. Defendant's motion for summary judgment granted in part.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Statute of Limitations , Creditors

Delaware Court of Chancery

J.D. Holdings, L.L.C. v. Dowdy, DeFAX Case No. D66540 (Del. Ch. Oct. 1, 2014) Laster, V.C. (40 pages).

By its plain meaning, a right of first refusal agreement established a valid framework for selling decedent's properties under a related transactional agreement transferring ownership and control of public company. Motions for judgment on the pleadings granted in part and denied in part.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Interpretation , Breach

Delaware Superior Court

Geckosystems Int'l Corp. v. Wallace, DeFAX Case No. D66544 (Del. Super. Sept. 29, 2014) Vaughn, P.J. (5 pages).

Appellees who purchased stock at a sheriff's sale moved for partial dismissal of appellants' appeal to block the sale, because the appeal was untimely. Affirmed.

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil , Finality , Timeliness , Contracts , Breach

Delaware Superior Court

Laugelle v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66538 (Del. Super. Oct. 6, 2014) Wallace, J. (47 pages).

Plaintiffs' proffered expert witness was qualified to offer opinions on helicopter operational impact and autorotation and engine maintenance, but not on hypothetical alternate design options. Order granting in part and denying in part parties' motions in limine.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Expert Witnesses , Products Liability , Malfunction , Defenses

Courts of Common Pleas

Smith v. Schmalhofer, DeFAX Case No. D66543 (C.P. New Castle Oct. 1, 2014) Welch, J. (9 pages).

The court entered a partial directed verdict in favor of defendant in a landlord-tenant dispute, as plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof in establishing that he was entitled to damages.

Practice Areas: Landlord/Tenant Law , Contracts , Breach , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

U.S. District Court of Delaware

The Penn Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Espinosa 2007-1 Ins. Trust, DeFAX Case No. D66530 (D. Del. Sept. 29, 2014) Stark, J. (15 pages).

Insurer's allegations that life insurance policy was void or voidable due to lack of insurable interest at inception and/or material misrepresentations in application warranted granting insurer permission to deposit policy proceeds into court's registry pending resolution of litigation. Motions granted in part and denied in part.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law , Policy Terms , Torts , Intentional Torts , Fraud (Torts)

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Perdue v. City of Wilmington, DeFAX Case No. D66535 (D. Del. Oct. 8, 2014) Robinson, J. (18 pages).

Where the City of Wilmington condemned the property in which plaintiff resided, plaintiff failed to prove retaliation and violations of his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Plaintiff allowed to proceed on remaining claims.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Constitutional Law , Civil Rights

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. v. Gulian, DeFAX Case No. D66533 (D. Del. Sept. 30, 2014) Stark, J. (26 pages).

Acquiring company adequately stated securities fraud and tort claims against directors of company for their failure to disclose fees acquired company owed to financial advisors. Defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state claims denied in part and granted in part.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Securities Fraud , White Collar Crime , Fraud (White Collar) , Civil Procedure , Choice of Law

Delaware Court of Chancery

Veloric v. J.G. Wentworth, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66514 (Del. Ch. Sept. 18, 2014) Bouchard, C. (54 pages).

Parties to a tax receivable agreement were not entitled to payments derived from future tax benefits under terms providing for early payment on change of corporate control where they failed to show change of "ultimate parent" following IPO merger. Motion to dismiss granted.

Practice Areas: Business Entities , Taxation , Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Mergers and Acquisitions

Delaware Superior Court

N.K.S. Distributors, Inc. v. Wheeler, Wolfenden & Dwares, P.A., DeFAX Case No. D66529 (Del. Super. Sept. 26, 2014) Jurden, J. (13 pages).

In a corporation's malpractice suit against an accounting firm for failing to discover a corporate officer's wrongful misappropriation of corporate funds, there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the corporation might have benefited from the officer's acts so as to preclude judgment against the accounting firm on its in pari delicto defense. Plaintiff's motion to strike or alternatively for partial summary judgment denied.

Practice Areas: Torts , Business Torts , Civil Procedure , Motion Practice , Liability

Delaware Superior Court

Shimko v. Honeywell Int'l Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66532 (Del. Super. Sept. 30, 2014) Davis, J. (12 pages).

Plaintiffs failed to put forth evidence that could survive defendant's summary judgment motion in their lawsuit based on asbestos exposure.

Practice Areas: Torts , Toxic Torts , Business Entities , Successor Liability , Evidence , Admissibility

Courts of Common Pleas

Brennan v. Severance, DeFAX Case No. D66527 (C.P. New Castle Oct. 3, 2014) Rennie, J. (5 pages).

Defendant-wife failed to prove her duress and setoff defenses in plaintiff-husband's breach of contract action arising from their oral agreement to divide marital property in connection with their divorce.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Family Law

Courts of Common Pleas

Broadway v. Rogers, DeFAX Case No. D66528 (C.P. New Castle Oct. 1, 2014) Smalls, C.J. (10 pages).

Plaintiff failed to prove her negligence claim against defendant based on his alleged transmission of a sexual virus to her, but she did establish that he was vicariously liable for damage to her property resulting from the execution of a search warrant, of which defendant was the subject.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury , Causation , Damages

U.S. District Court of Delaware

In re DBSI, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66523 (D. Del. Sept. 25, 2014) Sleet, J. (20 pages).

Transfer to Idaho of bankruptcy trustee's federal court racketeering claims against debtor entities was appropriate where suit could have been filed in Idaho and interests of convenience and justice warranted transfer.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Venue , Bankruptcy , White Collar Crime , RICO

U.S. District Court of Delaware

In re Jevic Holding Corp., DeFAX Case No. D66521 (D. Del. Sept. 29, 2014) Robinson, J. (15 pages).

Debtor corporation and its corporate owner and manager were not "single employer" for purposes of determining liability for an alleged failure to warn of an impending mass layoff, as required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Order affirming bankruptcy court order and dismissing appeal.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing , Business Entities , Bankruptcy

Delaware Supreme Court

Ingram v. Thorpe, DeFAX Case No. D66516 (Del. Sept. 26, 2014) Holland, J. (9 pages).

The Superior Court properly found that defendants violated a conditional sales agreement for real property and that collateral estoppel barred them from re-litigating the Delaware Real Estate Commission's findings.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Civil Procedure , Discovery

Delaware Court of Chancery

Mitchell Lane Publishers Inc. v. Rasemas, DeFAX Case No. D66519 (Del. Ch. Sept. 26, 2014) Noble, V.C. (10 pages).

Defendants failed to support their motion for contempt and sanctions based on plaintiffs' alleged disclosure of confidential discovery material to unauthorized third parties.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Evidence , Documentary Evidence

Delaware Superior Court

State v. Mugo, DeFAX Case No. D66515 (Del. Super. Sept. 23, 2014) Wharton, J. (12 pages).

Defendant's Fourth Amendment rights were not violated when his vehicle was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint and he was arrested for driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or with a prohibited alcohol content.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Motor Vehicles (Criminal) , Civil Procedure , Motion Practice , Constitutional Law

Delaware Superior Court

Stayton v. Delaware Health Corp., DeFAX Case No. D66524 (Del. Super. Sept. 24, 2014) Young, J. (17 pages).

Collateral source rule could not be applied to permit tort claimant to recover past medical damages in excess of amount paid by Medicare Trust Fund. Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings granted.

Practice Areas: Torts , Damages , Social Services Law , Medicare/Medicaid

Delaware Superior Court

Johnson v. Preferred Professional Ins. Co., DeFAX Case No. D66522 (Del. Super. Sept. 25, 2014) Young, J. (15 pages).

Under Delaware Uniform Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act, joint or several negligence will not suffice to impose contribution where the legal relationship between plaintiff and both defendants against whom contribution was asserted was not the same. Third-party defendants' motion to dismiss granted.

Practice Areas: Torts , Affirmative Defenses , Contributory Negligence , Liability , Joint and Several Liability , Legal Profession , Attorney Malpractice

Courts of Common Pleas

Maple Hill Homeowner's Ass'n v. Newton, DeFAX Case No. D66518 (C.P. New Castle Sept. 19, 2014) Rennie, J. (11 pages).

Plaintiff partially proved its breach of contract claims against three homeowners arising from the alleged non-payment of homeowners' association fees.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Creditors

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Duffy v. Superintendent Army Corps of Engineers, DeFAX Case No. D66502 (D. Del. Sept. 15, 2014) Robinson, J. (6 pages).

Plaintiff's past pattern of filing repetitive and non-meritorious claims arising out of common nucleus of operative facts, related to 2008 coastal storm, warranted dismissal of complaint as frivolous and malicious.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Judgments , Civil Rights

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Kaufman v. Allemang, DeFAX Case No. D66506 (D. Del. Sept. 30, 2014) Robinson, J. (24 pages).

Plaintiff in derivative action failed to allege that descriptions of compensation described in proxy statement were false and misleading or that compensation payments made to corporate officers constituted waste of corporate assets and unjust enrichment.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Shareholder Rights , Shareholder Derivative Suits , Civil Procedure , Discovery

Delaware Supreme Court

ev3, Inc. v. Lesh, DeFAX Case No. D66512 (Del. Sept. 30, 2014) Strine, C.J. (24 pages).

Non-binding funding provision in parties' pre-merger letter of intent to negotiate merger was not admissible at trial to determine meaning of funding provisions in final merger agreement. Superior Court's final judgment order denying motion for new trial reversed.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Performance , Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Mergers and Acquisitions

Delaware Court of Chancery

ExamWorks Inc. v. DeStefano, DeFAX Case No. D66513 (Del. Ch. Sept. 26, 2014) Noble, V.C. (8 pages).

Corporation requested a temporary restraining order to prevent competition by former employee and declined to grant specific performance of a settlement agreement on the limited record, since a balance of the harms weighed in former employee's favor. TRO denied.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Settlement , Pre-trial Procedure , Labor and Employment , Employment Contracts

Delaware Court of Chancery

Walker v. City of Wilmington, DeFAX Case No. D66503 (Del. Ch. Sept. 5, 2014) Parsons, V.C. (41 pages).

Plaintiff who challenged the condemnation of a group home based on city housing code violations had standing to sue under the Delaware Fair Housing Act; however defendant's motion to dismiss was granted.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Standing

Delaware Court of Chancery

Jefferson v. Dominion Holdings Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66511 (Del. Ch. Sept. 24, 2014) Noble, V.C. (6 pages).

The court defined the scope of production in a shareholder's request for inspection and found that a confidentiality agreement would address concerns over the confidentiality to be accorded documents that would not ordinarily find their way into the public light.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Shareholder Rights , Executive Compensation (Securities) , Civil Procedure , Discovery

Delaware Superior Court

State v. Carter, DeFAX Case No. D66510 (Del. Super. Sept. 23, 2014) Parkins, J. (4 pages).

Defendant's court-appointed counsel moved to withdraw for lack of meritorious issues, and in response, defendant moved for post-conviction relief based on his ineffective assistance of counsel claims. Defendant's motion denied; counsel's motion granted.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Legal Profession

Delaware Superior Court

Masterson-Carr v. Anesthesia Services, P.A., DeFAX Case No. D66509 (Del. Super. Sept. 15, 2014) Brady, J. (22 pages).

A contract employee who chose to resign upon learning her employers were unhappy with her work was foreclosed from later claiming breach of contract in violation of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Determination following bench trial that employee resigned, with order permitting additional briefing on disputed issue as to constructive discharge.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Employment Contracts , Contracts , Breach

Delaware Superior Court

Addison v. East Side Charter Sch. of Wilmington Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66507 (Del. Super. Sept. 19, 2014) Johnston, J. (21 pages).

Former school employee failed to support her claims that defendant terminated her in violation of the Delaware Whistleblowers' Protection Act as a result of her refusal to cover up sexual misconduct between two students. Defendant's motion for summary judgment granted.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing , Whistle-blower Law , Education Law

Delaware Superior Court

Lewis v. Berkowitz & Shagrin PA, DeFAX Case No. D66508 (Del. Super. Sept. 25, 2014) Medinilla, J. (8 pages).

Attorney was not collaterally estopped from collecting the remainder of unpaid fees from one retainer agreement co-signer, despite the fact that he had collected a portion of the fee from the other co-signer in a prior action.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery , Contracts

Delaware Court of Chancery

Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust Co. v. Roslewicz, DeFAX Case No. D66492 (Del. Ch. Sept. 2, 2014) LeGrow, M.C. (10 pages).

Reformation of a deed was warranted where names of both husband and wife appeared on the deed but property was purchased using funds obtained through a mortgage loan made solely to the husband. Chancery master's recommendation that summary judgment be granted to plaintiff bank.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Creditors

Delaware Court of Chancery

McCloskey v. McCloskey, DeFAX Case No. D66491 (Del. Ch. Sept. 3, 2014) Bouchard, C. (41 pages).

Claimant established by clear and convincing evidence that decedent made an enforceable oral agreement to dispose of property after his death in a manner that deviated from a facially valid written will in favor of the claimant's brother. Order overruled exceptions to master's report, directed decedent's estate to convey title to claimant in fee simple, and rescinded and declared null and void decedent's last will.

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates , Contracts , Formation

Delaware Court of Chancery

In the Matter of the Estate of Paulina du Pont Dean, DeFAX Case No. D66496 (Del. Ch. Sept. 17, 2014) Glasscock, V.C. (7 pages).

As the attorney-in-fact for his elderly, incompetent mother, petitioner was subject to a forensic accounting of his use of his mother's funds from the time the power of attorney was executed. The matter was remanded for the appointment of an attorney ad litem to represent the mother's interests in determining whether petitioner's brother was due reimbursement from the mother's funds for his children's educational expenses.

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates

Delaware Court of Chancery

Scott v. Dandero, DeFAX Case No. D66490 (Del. Ch. Sept. 8, 2014) Glasscock, V.C. (8 pages).

Plaintiff in Delaware action seeking to prevent defendant from obtaining trust accounting failed to offer valid reasons for lifting stay ordered by Delaware court pending resolution of related issues in current litigation before Texas court. Motion to lift stay denied without prejudice.

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates , Civil Procedure , Provisional Remedies , Family Law

Delaware Superior Court

State v. Cicione, DeFAX Case No. D66500 (Del. Super. Sept. 16, 2014) Parkins, J. (11 pages).

Defendant's motions seeking to have a statutory provision declared unconstitutional based on due process and asking the court to conduct an evidentiary hearing on the effects of trace amounts of marijuana in the bloodstream on driving ability, denied.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Motor Vehicles (Criminal) , Constitutional Law

Delaware Superior Court

Patton v. Yancey, DeFAX Case No. D66495 (Del. Super. Sept. 22, 2014) Parkins, J. (4 pages).

The trial court abused its discretion in denying plaintiff's claim for compensatory damages, as he conclusively established that defendant caused an injury, but properly dismissed plaintiff's claims for medical expenses and lost wages, since he failed to introduce sufficient evidence to show those damages. Judgment partially affirmed, and case remanded.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Demonstrative Evidence , Torts , Intentional Torts , Assault , Battery

Delaware Superior Court

Novello v. Fluid Handling, LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66498 (Del. Super. Sept. 9, 2014) Johnston, J. (10 pages).

Maintenance mechanic who suffered injury following his failure to follow employer's mandated safety procedure could not assert failure-to-warn claim against third party manufacturer. Motion for summary judgment granted.

Practice Areas: Products Liability , Failure to Warn , Design Defect , Torts , Damages

Courts of Common Pleas

State v. Richardson, DeFAX Case No. D66501 (C.P. New Castle Aug. 21, 2014) Danberg, J. (6 pages).

A police officer was acting under the umbrella of the exigent circumstances exception to the warrantless entry when he pursued defendant into his home; thus defendant's arrest was not unconstitutional and he was guilty of resisting arrest.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law

Delaware Supreme Court

DeFelice v. Division of Family Servs., DeFAX Case No. D66481 (Del. Sept. 9, 2014) Strine, C.J. (11 pages).

The family court properly found that the facts and law supported terminating father's parental rights with his child. Affirmed.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Delaware Court of Chancery

Kahuku Holdings LLC v. MNA Kahuku LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66487 (Del. Ch. Sept. 15, 2014) Glasscock, V.C. (16 pages).

The arbitration provision in the LLC agreement represented an agreement that both arbitration and arbitrability would be undertaken in the courts of Hawaii.

Practice Areas: Alternative Dispute Resolution , Arbitration (ADR) , Business Entities , LLCs and LLPS , Civil Procedure , Choice of Law

Delaware Court of Chancery

REDUS Peninsula Millsboro, LLC v. Mayer, DeFAX Case No. D66488 (Del. Ch. Aug. 29, 2014) Noble, V.C.

REDUS Peninsula Millsboro, LLC v. Mayer, DeFAX Case No. D66488 (Del. Ch. Aug. 29, 2014) Noble, V.C. (17 pages).

Practice Areas: Contracts , Remedies , Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Communications and Media Law

Delaware Superior Court

State v. Jackson, DeFAX Case No. D66485 (Del. Super. Sept. 3, 2014) Parkins, J. (29 pages).

Defendant failed to prove his ineffective assistance of trial counsel and appellate counsel claims. Affirmed.

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Criminal , Constitutional Law

Delaware Superior Court

Henry v. Middletown Farmers Mkt. LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66482 (Del. Super. Sept. 8, 2014) Young, J. (6 pages).

Too many questions of fact remained in plaintiff's negligence action against the farmer's market at which plaintiff was injured; thus, defendant's motion to dismiss was denied.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Motion Practice , Torts , Causation , Premises Liability , Invitees

Delaware Superior Court

Beta Data Servs., Inc. v. Verizon Federal, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66489 (Del. Super. Aug. 26, 2014) Davis, J. (12 pages).

Party's rejection of five-year services contract following earlier agreement that contract would be extended in writing warranted retroactive billing for services at higher month-to-month rate. Motion to dismiss complaint denied.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Formation , Interpretation , Communications and Media Law