This Weeks Cases

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Molina Info. Sys. v. Unisys Corp., DeFAX Case No. D67359 (D. Del. Sept. 14, 2016) Andrews, J. (memorandum) (9 pages).

Following the purchase of a Health Information Management division from Unisys, buyer Molina Information Systems brought suit against the seller for fraud and breach of contract. Both parties moved for summary judgment based on differing interpretation of anti-reliance language in a pre-sale confidentiality agreement and its relationship to the asset purchase agreement. Defendant subsequently moved to file a surreply. The court determined that the CA by itself did not have the weight of anti-reliance statement, requiring instead a positive statement by the buyer of its understanding concerning extra-contractual documents. Given the various extra documents specified by the APA to be delivered to the buyer, the seller could have written an express anti-reliance clause into the final agreement if it had so intended, but didn't. Seller's motion for summary judgment and surreply were denied, and buyer obtained relief to include representational documents in its case for fraud.


U.S. District Court of Delaware

Moore v. Educ. Credit Mgmt. Corp., DeFAX Case No. D67353 (D. Del. Sept. 12, 2016) Stark, J. (memorandum) (6 pages).

Consumer faced with multiple years of disputed accounts on his credit report was denied a favorable rate on a mortgage loan, despite lodging disputes with the credit reporting agencies as well as the creditor. In addition, the disputed amount was allegedly sold or transferred to a collections agency in violation of federal law. The injured consumer filed a complaint pro se and sought damages, while the creditor sought a dismissal of the claim on grounds that consumer failed to allege a factual basis. The court denied the motions to dismiss.


Delaware Superior Court

Conley v. GlaxoSmithKline, DeFAX Case No. D67357 (Del. Super. Sept. 12, 2016) Rocanelli, J. (memorandum) (6 pages).

Following pregnancies in which expectant mothers were prescribed the antidepressant Paxil, the children born were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The mothers brought suit against the manufacturer of the drug for negligence in marketing and manufacture. Though each lived out of state, each plaintiff brought suit in Delaware, where the manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline was incorporated, and defendant sought dismissal for forum non conveniens. Examining the argument against the Cryo-Maid categories, the court found that defendant did not present arguments of sufficient weight to overrule plaintiff's choice of forum and denied the motions to dismiss.


U.S. District Court of Delaware

Stewart v. Energy Future Holdings, DeFAX Case No. D67354 (D. Del. Sept. 14, 2016) Andrews, J. (memorandum) (11pages).

Informed of an opportunity to present claims against an energy company undergoing bankruptcy restructuring, a claimant and her son submitted proofs of claims allegedly relating to easements and leases of mineral rights that remained unpaid. The bankruptcy court determined that no documents in support of those allegations were provided in evidence, and thus sustained the debtors' objections to the claims. The son pursued the claim into appeal, but failed to provide sufficient evidence to overcome appellee's rebuttal of his claim, as well as provide evidence that would support a reversal of the bankruptcy court's ruling. The appellate court found no error in the prior court's ruling.


U.S. District Court of Delaware

Tolliver v. Trinity Parish Found., DeFAX Case No. D67355 (D. Del. Aug. 31, 2016) Stark, J. (memorandum) (4 pages).

The presence of an attorney with the firm, who once represented a litigant in an employment discrimination suit, now representing the defendant in a second suit for employment discrimination against another employer, prompted a motion for recusal of opposing counsel. The court denied the motion, and the litigant moved for reconsideration, adding the information that a specific attorney who had represented her previously was now a member of opposing counsel, creating a conflict of interest. The court's examination of the issues revealed that whether the recusal was grounded in Rule 1.10(b) or 1.9, in both cases the underlying matter had to be "substantially related" in order to require recusal, which was not the case. Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration was denied.


U.S. District Court of Delaware

JSDQ Mesh Tech. v. Fluidmesh Networks, DeFAX Case No. D67360 (D. Del. Sept. 6, 2016) Sleet, J. (memorandum) (8 pages).

Patent holder of four patents dealing with radio communications filed a complaint against another company for patent infringement. In response, the alleged infringer raised a challenge to the patent eligibility of the four patents and argued for invalidity under 35 U.S.C. §101. The court found that the challenger failed to establish the representative, core relationship between the four patent claims or provide sufficient analysis of the nonrepresentative claims to be able to evaluate the necessary facts and that claims construction discovery was needed also prior to consideration of dismissal. The challenger's Rule 12(b) motion to dismiss was denied.


Delaware Superior Court

Barrerra v. Monsanto Co., DeFAX Case No. D67356 (Del. Super. Sept. 13, 2016) Medinilla, J. (memorandum) (29 pages).

Three plaintiffs who developed relevant cancers after years-long exposure to glyphosate manufactured and marketed by Monsanto were allegedly made aware of the connection only after an agency of the World Health Organization published an evaluation of glyphosate's role in causing cancer in 2015. Typical of the worldwide use and consequences, plaintiffs alleged pesticide exposure and cancer treatment actions that occurred in multiple states, and chose to file suit with Delaware as forum. Defendant sought dismissal on the basis of forum non conveniens or alternatively for failure to state a claim. Applying the Cryo-Maid factors, the court found that most factors weighed against change of venue. Though it recognized that a choice of law analysis would need to be done to evaluate individual issues raised by defendant, the court noted that plaintiffs' complaint was sufficient to delineate the main issues and that defendant had not met its burden of proving that plaintiffs could not succeed.


U.S. District Court of Delaware

Intellectual Ventures I v. Toshiba Corp., DeFAX Case No. D67358 (D. Del. Sept. 7, 2016) Robinson, J. (memorandum) (6 pages).

In the middle of a patent suit for peripheral device connections to personal computers, the challenger to the patent raised a new issue of improper inventorship, 17 years after the patent was issued. The challenger, defendant in the current case, sought leave to amend their amended answers and counterclaims on the basis of information allegedly discovered in their June deposition of one of the original co-inventors. The court granted the motion but split out the new defense to allow for discovery and separate trial.