Judges & Cases

This Weeks Cases

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

Delaware Superior Court

Lukk v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., DeFAX Case No. D66486 (Del. Super. Aug. 27, 2014) (corrected Aug. 29, 2014) Wallace, J. (20 pages).

In this matter of first impression, genuine issues of material fact remained in plaintiff's breach of contract action against insurance company based on failure to pay personal injury protection under plaintiff's father's policy, thus parties' cross-motions for summary judgment were denied.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law , Policy Terms , Contracts , Breach

Delaware Superior Court

Mulrooney v. Life Ins. Co. of the Southwest, DeFAX Case No. D66480 (Del. Super. Sept. 3, 2014) Parkins, J. (32 pages).

Coverage under an advance benefits rider of a life insurance policy was properly denied where the claimant, who suffered a non-fatal stroke four months after applying for insurance, had misstated her height on her signed application form. Defendant's motion for summary judgment granted.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law , Bad Faith , Policy Terms

Delaware Supreme Court

Simpson v. Stark, DeFAX Case No. D66477 (Del. Aug. 27, 2014) Holland, J. (7 pages).

Family court's decision awarding parents joint legal custody and shared physical custody of their children was properly based on family court's review of all best interest of children factors stated in 13 Del. C. §722; additional issues raised on appeal in appellate brief were not before family court and could not be considered on review. Family court's decision affirmed.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Delaware Supreme Court

Shapira v. Christiana Care Health Services Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66476 (Del. Aug. 7, 2014) Berger, J. (17 pages).

Surgeon's failure to inform patient that he had financial interest in experimental medical device used off-label to alleviate patient's severe and persistent chest pain breached his duty to inform regarding material risks and alternative procedures. Judgment of superior court affirmed, and case remanded with instructions to vacate supplemental verdict.

Practice Areas: Medical Malpractice , Torts

Delaware Court of Chancery

Jenkins v. Delaware State Univ., DeFAX Case No. D66473 (Del. Ch. Aug. 22, 2014) Noble, V.C. (21 pages).

Dismissal of nursing student from participation in clinical training program for drinking small amount of alcohol during break period was both substantively and procedurally justified. Student was not fully informed of the charges against her or the severity of the consequences and, therefore, she was not validly removed from the nursing program.

Practice Areas: Education Law , Contracts , Breach

Delaware Superior Court

Rittler v. Barlow, DeFAX Case No. D66474 (Del. Super. Aug. 29, 2014) Brady, J. (6 pages).

Defendant unreasonably delayed in filing his motion for review of the default judgment amount entered against him, filing his motion almost three and a half years after the judgment was entered.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Motion Practice , Appellate Law - Civil , Timeliness

Delaware Superior Court

Stillwell v. Crane Co., DeFAX Case No. D66479 (Del. Super. Aug. 29, 2014) Davis, J. (10 pages).

The statute of limitations barred plaintiff's claim alleging that he developed asbestosis after he was exposed to asbestos due to defendants' wrongful conduct.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Statute of Limitations , Judgments , Torts , Toxic Torts

Delaware Superior Court

Dreisbach v. Walton, DeFAX Case No. D66472 (Del. Super. Aug. 29, 2014) Brady, J. (12 pages).

Home sellers' knowing failure to disclose that contractor hired to remodel basement was not county-licensed and did not obtain necessary home improvement permits breached implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Trial court judgment in favor of home buyer as to claim against seller for breached of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Delaware Superior Court

Watunya v. Siena, DeFAX Case No. D66471 (Del. Super. Aug. 27, 2014) Butler, J. (5 pages).

Four of plaintiff's proposed expert witnesses did not provide expert reports or otherwise explain the bases for their expert opinions. The court granted defendant's motion in limine to exclude their testimonies.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Expert Witnesses , Civil Procedure , Discovery , Pre-trial Procedure

Delaware Superior Court

Witzke v. Kent County Soc'y for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66480 (Del. Super. Aug. 29, 2014) Vaughn, P.J. (7 pages).

The court granted defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted in plaintiff's mandamus action following the termination of his employment.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Motion Practice , Labor and Employment , At-Will Employment , Hiring/Firing

Delaware Superior Court

Steward v. Honeywell Int'l Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66478 (Del. Super. Aug. 28, 2014) Medinilla, J. (8 pages).

Plaintiff failed to meet his burden in establishing a genuine issue of material fact that would justify an award of punitive damages in his personal injury lawsuit arising from a hazardous chemical release at defendant's facility; therefore, the court granted summary judgment to defendant on that claim.

Practice Areas: Torts , Damages , Punitive , Personal Injury , Toxic Torts

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Pierre-Louis v. Bank of America, DeFAX Case No. D66462 (D. Del. Aug. 11, 2014) Stark, J. (7 pages).

Pro se plaintiff's wrongful termination complaint sought relief based on Delaware's Whistleblower statute, without raising significant issues of federal law. Plaintiff's motion to remand to Delaware Superior Court granted for lack of federal court jurisdiction.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Labor and Employment , Whistle-blower Law

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Ruffin v. Bank of America, DeFAX Case No. D66439 (D. Del. Aug. 1, 2014) Sleet, J. (8 pages).

Employment discrimination plaintiff who alleged his termination was the result of discrimination based on an unspecified disability failed to satisfactorily alleged Title VII discrimination. Defendant's motion to dismiss complaint granted.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Discrimination , Hiring/Firing

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Starr Investments Cayman II, Inc. v. China MediaExpress Holdings, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66468 (D. Del. Aug. 21, 2014) Andrews, J. (15 pages).

An institutional investor that fell victim to a "pump and dump" stock purchase scheme claimed violations of Exchange Act Sections 10(b) and 20(a), violations of Rule 10b-5, common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation, aiding and abetting and breach of fiduciary duty against company, individual officers and accounting firms. Plaintiff's' motions against named defendants granted in part and denied in part.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Insider Trading , Corporate Governance/Compliance

Delaware Supreme Court

Anderson v. Anderson, DeFAX Case No. D66460 (Del. Aug. 21, 2014) Strine, C.J. (4 pages).

Family court's custody order, affirmed, since there was no basis on the limited appellate record to overturn it after father failed to appear at the custody hearing.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support , Civil Procedure , Judgments , Trial

Delaware Supreme Court

In tbe Matter of Boyd, DeFAX Case No. D66464 (Del. August 11, 2014) Strine, C.J. (11 pages).

Son abused fiduciary duty arising from power of attorney and trust agreement when he refused to cooperate with state hospital's efforts to secure payment of his disabled mother's monthly hospital bills through application of her monthly pension payments.

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates , Social Services Law , Medicare/Medicaid , Elder Law

Delaware Court of Chancery

Sterling Property Holdings, Inc. v. New Castle County, DeFAX Case No. D66463 (Del. Ch. Aug. 5, 2014) Noble, V.C. (9 pages).

Fees levied by county land use department on property owner for final record review of subdivision plans were proportional to the regulatory costs of processing the plans in accord with the pertinent statutory proportionality requirement and were properly approved by county council. Order rejecting challenge to fees and directing that parties implement settlement agreement.

Practice Areas: Land Use and Planning , Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Administrative Law

Delaware Superior Court

Bozier v. Mountaire Farms, DeFAX Case No. D66465 (Del. Super. Aug. 20, 2014) Stokes, J. (11 pages).

Newly hired employee who was terminated after arriving late to work on first scheduled work day was terminated for just cause under employer's "no fault" written absence policy. Decision of Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board denying unemployment benefits affirmed on appeal to Superior Court.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing , Social Services Law , Unemployment Compensation

Delaware Superior Court

Estate of Givens v. Delaware Electric Cooperative, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66466 (Del. Super. Aug. 20, 2014) Scott, J. (10 pages).

Minor child of decedent could recover for damages for mental anguish in wrongful death action without showing of physical injury, and award of damages was not precluded as necessarily speculative where child was only six months old when parent died. Defendant's motion for partial adjudication as to claim for mental anguish denied.

Practice Areas: Torts , Wrongful Death , Emotional Distress

Courts of Common Pleas

Tauber v. Rodriguez, DeFAX Case No. D66461 (C.P. Sussex Aug. 8, 2014) Surles, J. (13 pages).

Court resolved conflicting and inconsistent testimony from opposing parties, concluding that defendant knowingly withdrew funds from a joint account held with plaintiff to complete a purchase of property and knowingly altered the deed to deny plaintiff any legal interest in the property.

Practice Areas: Torts , Intentional Torts , Fraud (Torts) , Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Landlord/Tenant Law

Third Circuit

Motiva Enterprises LLC v. Swiss Re Int'l S.E., DeFAX Case No. D66457 (3d Cir. Aug. 22, 2014) Fuentes, J. (6 pages).

Citing both an arbitration clause and forum selection language in its policy, insurer attempted to remove the insured's action from state to federal court. Insured's motion to remand affirmed.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Insurance Law , Policy Terms , Venue

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Johnson v. State of Delaware/Dep't of Labor, DeFAX Case No. D66449 (D. Del. Aug. 1, 2014) Sleet, J. (15 pages).

Employment discrimination plaintiff who alleged her termination from employment with the State of Delaware was the result of discrimination could not show subject matter jurisdiction as to her claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act and failed to state a claim of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Defendant's motion to dismiss granted.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law , Labor and Employment , Discrimination , Disability Discrimination , Race Discrimination

Delaware Court of Chancery

Sutherland v. Sutherland, DeFAX Case No. D66454 (Del. Ch. July 31, 2014) Noble, V.C. (14 pages).

Plaintiff achieved minimal benefits for the companies in her derivative and double-derivative suits and was thus entitled to $275,000 in attorney fees and expenses.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Shareholder Derivative Suits , Executive Compensation (Securities) , Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery

Delaware Superior Court

State v. Johnson, DeFAX Case No. D66453 (Del. Super. Aug. 13, 2014) Rocanelli, J. (6 pages).

Defendant failed to meet his burden of proving how disclosure of the identity of a confidential informant would materially aid his defense in his drug case.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Privileges , Witnesses , Criminal Law

Delaware Superior Court

Jordan v. Indian River School District, DeFAX Case No. D66451 (Del. Super. July 31, 2014) Stokes, J. (12 pages).

Defendants school district and teacher were not immune from personal injury damages claim filed by plaintiff, a minor student who suffered serious and permanent injuries after immersing her hand and forearm in ice water for forty minutes as part of a classroom experiment. Motion to dismiss on grounds of immunity denied.

Practice Areas: Torts , Liability , Immunity , Personal Injury

Delaware Superior Court

Pugh v. Davis, DeFAX Case No. D66452 (Del. Super. Aug. 12, 2014) Johnston, J. (5 pages).

In this negligence action arising from an auto collision during a police pursuit, plaintiff failed to show that a new trial was warranted based on the given jury instruction or because the verdict went against the weight of the evidence.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury , Motor Vehicles , Civil Procedure , Trial

Courts of Common Pleas

Dubovick v. Andrew-Webb, DeFAX Case No. D66446 (C.P. Kent July 25, 2014) Welch, J. (5 pages).

A man who left his girlfriend after orally agreeing to split the costs for in vitro fertilization procedure as found to have entered into a contract and was liable for one-half of the costs incurred.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Performance , Torts , Damages

Courts of Common Pleas

Romo v. Donegal Insurance Co., DeFAX Case No. D66450 (C.P. New Castle County Aug. 8, 2014) Smalls, C.J. (10 pages).

Defendant insurance company breached policy terms by failing to pay lost wages to covered passenger in insured vehicle who suffered injury in traffic accident. Monetary damages in amount of policy limit were awarded in favor of plaintiff following court trial.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law , Automotive , Contracts , Breach

Third Circuit

Stones v. McDonald, DeFAX Case No. D66435 (3d Cir. Aug. 4, 2014) per curiam (5 pages).

Plaintiff-inmate failed to show that there was a genuine dispute as to any material fact regarding his claim that appellees were deliberately indifferent to his ankle injury. Grant of appellees' motions for summary judgment affirmed.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Judgments , Constitutional Law

Delaware Supreme Court

Cooke v. Murphy, DeFAX Case No. D66441 (Del. July 30, 2014) Ridgely, J. (9 pages).

Jury properly concluded defendant proximately caused auto accident but did not have to pay any damages; trial court then properly found defendant was entitled to costs as prevailing party. Superior Court judgment affirmed.

Practice Areas: Torts , Damages , Evidence , Expert Witnesses , Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery

Delaware Court of Chancery

Matthew v. Laudamiel, DeFAX Case No. D66440 (Del. Ch. July 21, 2014) Noble, V.C. (7 pages).

Defendant was entitled to broad discovery as to plaintiff's activities following earlier litigation, for purposes of defendant's mitigation and unclean hands defense, and defendant was entitled to unredacted settlement agreement with settling defendants, to allow defendant to assess remaining liability. Plaintiff ordered to provide full response to defendants' discovery requests.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Settlement , Intellectual Property , Trade Secrets

Delaware Court of Chancery

Buttonwood Tree Value Partners, L.P. v. R.L. Polk & Co., DeFAX Case No. D66442 (Del. Ch. Aug. 7, 2014) Glasscock, V.C. (15 pages).

Shareholders accused corporation and board of directors of breach of fiduciary duty for misrepresenting the company's worth in its self-tender. Defendant's motion to dismiss granted.

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

Delaware Court of Chancery

Salamone v. Gorman, DeFAX Case No. D66456 (July 31, 2014) Noble, V.C. (11 pages).

Where a disputed election of four directors to a corporation's board of directors created management deadlock, the Court of Chancery entered a status quo order until a final judicial determination resolved the summary proceeding.

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

Delaware Court of Chancery

Sample v. Gumbiner, DeFAX Case No. D66455 (July 31, 2014) Noble, V.C. (12 pages).

In this action to determine an appropriate amount for attorney fees from shareholder litigation, the court had to determine who was responsible for release of the banker's book under the settlement agreement.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Mergers and Acquisitions , Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery , Securities Transactions

Delaware Superior Court

State v. Gillis, DeFAX Case No. D66436 (Del. Super. July 24, 2014) Johnston, J. (9 pages).

Probation and parole officers' administrative searches of defendant's record address and current residence were proper and his statement to an officer was not coerced. Motion to suppress denied.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence , Admissibility

Delaware Superior Court

Gray v. Beebe Med. Ctr., DeFAX Case No. D66438 (Del. Super. Aug. 13, 2014) Stokes, J. (8 pages).

Employee who declined his employer's attempt to accommodate his allergy to chemical cleaners by making only occasional work assignments in areas where cleaning materials were kept was unable to work due to a health condition and was therefore not entitled to collect unemployment benefits. Decision of Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board affirmed.

Practice Areas: Social Services Law , Unemployment Compensation , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Working Conditions

Delaware Superior Court

Eastern Savings Bank, FSB v. Cach, LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66427 (Del. Super. July 31, 2014) Medinilla, J. (13 pages).

Junior mortgage holder sought to apply equitable subrogation doctrine to advance its priority position in order to retain funds from mortgage foreclosure sale. Court of common pleas decision affirmed.

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

Courts of Common Pleas

Connor v. Martin, DeFAX Case No. D66347 (C.P. New Castle Aug. 8, 2014) Rennie, J. (5 pages).

Defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' claims for negligence and negligent misrepresentation was granted, but his motion to dismiss plaintiffs' breach of contract claim was denied as further discovery was necessary.

Practice Areas: Torts , Damages , Contracts , Breach , Civil Procedure , Discovery

Courts of Common Pleas

State v. Moon, DeFAX Case No. D66434 (C.P. New Castle July 9, 2014) Surles, J. (11 pages).

Admission of statistical data used in selection of sobriety checkpoint properly admitted through testimony of police officer who was involved in selection of checkpoint location. Defendant's motion to suppress evidence denied and defendant found guilty of driving under the influence.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Motor Vehicles (Criminal) , Evidence , Admissibility , Scientific Evidence , Insurance Law , Automotive

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Burr v. Biden, DeFAX Case No. D66428 (D. Del. Aug. 1, 2014) (memorandum) Sleet, J. (12 pages).

Plaintiff seeking constitutional protection from wearing seat belts failed to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(6)(b). Defendant's motion to dismiss granted.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law , Administrative Law

Delaware Court of Chancery

In re Jenzabar, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66432 (Del. Ch. July 30, 2014) Glasscock, V.C. (17 pages).

Under Massachusetts law, after trust had expired while still holding assets on behalf of beneficiary, trustee was empowered to take necessary actions to preserve assets for purposes of distribution and wind-up but lacked authority to maintain stockholder derivative claims. Defendants' motion to dismiss granted.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Shareholder Derivative Suits , Trusts and Estates

U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Delaware

In re Newstarcom Holdings, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66433 (Bankr. D. Del. Aug. 6, 2014) Sontchi, B.J. (18 pages).

Discovery of post-sale financial information sought by bankruptcy trustee to determine accuracy and reasonableness of projections used to create valuations of company before it was sold at fire sale price to company officers would have provided only limited assistance in determining reasonableness of directors' decision to sell company at particular price. Trustee's motion to compel production of documents denied.

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy , Civil Procedure , Discovery , Business Entities , Valuation

Delaware Supreme Court

Desmond v. State, DeFAX Case No. D66429 (Del. Aug. 1, 2014) Strine, C.J. (6 pages).

Appellant's contention that concurrent sentences constituted a de facto life sentence and were thus illegal because he was not convicted of a Class A felony did not stand up to scrutiny. Superior Court's judgment affirmed.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Appellate Law - Criminal

U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Delaware

In re Energy Future Holdings Corp., DeFAX Case No. D66431 (Bankr. D. Del. Aug. 5, 2014) Sontchi, B.J. (25 pages).

In a make-whole dispute, information regarding a debtor's valuation and solvency is relevant, and thus discoverable, but that information cannot be obtained from third parties who do not intend to offer expert or other evidence on the issue. Order directing parties to submit proposed order consistent with court's opinion.

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy , Creditors' and Debtors' Rights

Delaware Court of Chancery

Comerica Bank v. Global Payments Direct, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66430 (Del. Ch. Aug. 1, 2014) Bouchard, V.C. (46 pages).

Following termination of service agreement between plaintiff bank and defendant credit and debit card processor, bank was entitled to receive certain information and assistance it had requested to effectuate its transition to a new payment processor, with expenses to be paid by their joint-venture enterprise. Liquidating trustee appointed by court.

Practice Areas: Banking and Financial Institutions , Contracts , Interpretation

Delaware Supreme Court

In the Matter of the Petition of Brown, DeFAX Case No. D66417 (Del. July 24, 2014) Strine, C.J. (3 pages).

Supreme Court had no original jurisdiction to issue writ of mandamus directed to non-court state agency. Petition for writ of mandamus dismissed.

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

Delaware Supreme Court

O'Conner v. O'Conner, DeFAX Case No. D66415 (Del. July 24, 2014) Strine, C.J. (8 pages).

Father petitioned for divorce in October 2011 and requested that the family court retain jurisdiction over issues stemming from the division of property. Mother petitioned for custody in March 2012. The divorce was granted in July 2012.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support , Appellate Law - Civil , Timeliness , Civil Procedure , Statute of Limitations

Delaware Supreme Court

Christman v. Delaware Dep't of Health and Social Services, DeFAX Case No. D66416 (Del. July 25, 2014) Ridgely, J. (14 pages).

Refusal of prospective Medical Director of Division of Public Health of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services to sign standing orders and collaborative agrements and obtain a National Provider Identifier number warranted terminating her for insubordination. Judgment of superior court affirmed.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment

Delaware Court of Chancery

RCM LS II, LLC v. Lincoln Circle Associates, LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66419 (Del. Ch. July 28, 2014) Laster, V.C. (34 pages).

Defendant property owner breached right of first offer agreement by negotiating proposed sale with third party before sending property offer notice to plaintiff rights holder and by failing to specify material terms in offer notice.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Debt Securities , Derivatives

Delaware Court of Chancery

Hardy v. Hardy, DeFAX Case No. D66422 (Del. Ch. July 29, 2014) (memorandum) Parsons, V.C. (58 pages).

Defendant trustees who depleted trust held for disabled sibling were jointly and severally liable for their self-interested purchases and other expenditures and for failure to account for monies withdrawn from the account.

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates , Torts , Liability , Joint and Several Liability , Damages

Delaware Superior Court

Wood v. Collison, DeFAX Case No. D66421 (Del. Super. July 22, 2014) Rocanelli, J. (5 pages).

Prisoner seeking injunction against prison authorities to prevent further alleged acts of retaliation following filing of lawsuit failed to produce evidence of irreparable harm or demonstrate likelihood of success on merits. Motion for "emergency injunction" denied.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights

Delaware Superior Court

Northpointe Holdings, LLC v. Nationwide Emerging Managers, LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66418 (Del. Super. July 16, 2014) Rocanelli, J. (61 pages).

Consortium of financial and investment companies breached the contract with a spinoff investment and mutual funds advisory firm when, in violation of the purchase agreement and without good cause, consortium terminated its relationship to the spinoff, looted assets, refused to pay contractual termination fees, and failed to meet contractual marketing obligations.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Fraud (Contracts) , Securities and Federal Corporate Law

Courts of Common Pleas

Ryan v. Lewis, DeFAX Case No. D66423 (C.P. Sussex July 18, 2014) Beauregard, J. (8 pages).

Defaulting party to a vaguely worded promissory note could not unilaterally postpone performance on the note indefinitely. Plaintiff was awarded damages.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Performance , Breach , Remedies

Courts of Common Pleas

State v. DeGregoriis, DeFAX Case No. D66424 (C.P. New Castle Aug. 1, 2014) Rennie, J. (7 pages).

The state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and a traffic offense.

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

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Johnson v. Ace Cash Express, Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66413 (D. Del. July 24, 2014) Stark, J. (18 pages).

Short-term loan recipient who alleged loan corporation breached its duty of fair dealing and violated the Delaware Consumer Fraud Act was subject to the arbitration terms of the loan agreement. Motion for leave to amend complaint granted.

Practice Areas: Alternative Dispute Resolution , Arbitration (ADR) , Contractual Clauses , Civil Procedure , Choice of Law

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Homax Products, Inc. v. Old Magic Corp., DeFAX Case No. D66412 (D. Del. July 28, 2014) (memorandum) Robinson, J. (13 pages).

Successor in merger mistakenly named as a defendant in mesothelioma case and that sought indemnification from other parties to the suit was not an indemnified party under the asset purchase agreement entered into prior to its merger.

Practice Areas: Business Entities , Successor Liability , Contracts , Warranties , Civil Procedure , Judgments

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Fruchtman v. Town of Dewey Beach, DeFAX Case No. D66411 (D. Del. July 24, 2014) Stark, J. (15 pages).

Store owner claimed township denied him his constitutional rights when they attempted to regulate his placement of street side merchandise. Town's motion to dismiss granted.

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law , Contracts , Breach , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Scanlon v. Medtronic Sofamar Danek USA Inc., DeFAX Case No. D66398 (D. Del. July 28, 2014) Robinson, J. (16 pages).

Product liability suit against manufacturer of infuse device used off-label in spinal surgery was preempted under Medical Device Amendments of 1976 both as to claim of failure to warn and claim of false and negligent misrepresentations by manufacturer's representatives. Defendant's motion to dismiss granted.

Practice Areas: Products Liability , Failure to Warn , Torts , Causation

U.S. District Court of Delaware

In re PMTS Liquidating Corp., DeFAX Case No. D66396 (D. Del. July 28, 2014) Robinson, J. (17 pages).

Bankrupt corporation satisfactorily pleaded breach of fiduciary duty claim against board member based on allegations that he breached his duty to disclose a conflict of interest when another company for which he served as managing director was seeking to gain a controlling interest in a major competitor. Motion to dismiss granted as to two counts and denied as to a third count.

Practice Areas: Securities and Federal Corporate Law , Corporate Governance/Compliance , Bankruptcy

Delaware Supreme Court

Luttrell v. State of Delaware, DeFAX Case No. D66391 (Del. July 28, 2014) Holland, J. (17 pages).

Trial court erred in failing to grant defendant's motion for bill of particulars, where indictment did not clearly delineate acts for which he was being prosecuted, and committed plain error when it allowed impermissible vouching evidence to be presented to jury. Reversed.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Delaware Supreme Court

Ozdemir v. State, DeFAX Case No. D66414 (Del. July 23, 2014) Berger, J. (11 pages).

Unredacted family court records used in Superior Court to prove interference with custody were inadmissible because they included hearsay. Reversed.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Hearsay , Documentary Evidence , Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Delaware Supreme Court

R.T. Vanderbilt Co. Inc. v. Galliher, DeFAX Case No. D66397 (Del. July 24, 2014) Ridgely, J. (16 pages).

Trial court's failure to instruct jury on duty of care required of asbestos plaintiff's employer and failure to grant new trial following admission of unreliable and inflammatory evidence warranted reversal for new trial. Reversed.

Practice Areas: Torts , Toxic Torts , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Working Conditions , Evidence , Admissibility

Delaware Court of Chancery

Durham v. Grapetree, LLC, DeFAX Case No. D66410 (Del. Ch. July 21, 2014) Glasscock, V.C. (11 pages).

LLC member who refused to substantiate evidence proving that his personal expenditures benefited the LLC was only allowed to recoup amount agreed to by LLC.

Practice Areas: Evidence , Documentary Evidence , Competency , Business Entities , LLCs and LLPS