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Tag Archives: Contract

Contract – ERISA – Health Benefits Plan – Anti-Assignment Clause – Consent Form – ‘Insurance’ — Standing (access required)

Medical University Hospital Authority v. Oceana Resorts, LLC The defendant-employer’s group benefit plan prohibited a patient/plan participant from assigning his plan benefits to the plaintiff-hospital. Although the hospital had the patient sign a consent form, the consent form only applies to insurance policies, and the plan is not an insurance policy. Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted.

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Contract – Real Property – Construction – Mechanic’s Lien – Too Early – No Amount Stated – No Demand for Payment (access required)

Ferguson Fire & Fabrication, Inc. v. Preferred Fire Protection, LLC Before it finished providing materials for the defendant-owner’s improvement project, the plaintiff-supplier sent the owner a notice that it was providing such materials. However, the notice did not include an end-date, a final value of materials furnished, or a demand for payment. Therefore, no lien attached to the owner’s property.

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Contract – Breach Claim – Tort/Negligence – Conversion Jury Instruction – Unfair Trade Practices (access required)

Hennes v. Shaw Where the complaint alleged and the parties presented evidence on a claim of breach of contract, the trial court erred when it sua sponte instructed the jury on conversion. We affirm the trial court’s grant of a directed verdict for plaintiff on defendant’s unfair trade practices claim. We affirm the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion for a directed verdict on plaintiff’s breach of contract claim. However, we reverse and remand for a new trial on plaintiff’s claim of breach of contract and defendant’s counterclaims of tortious interference with contract, conspiracy, and breach of fiduciary duty.

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Contract – Construction – Unsatisfactory Performance – Brick Mason (access required)

Tetra Tech EX/Tesoro Joint Venture v. Sam Temples Masonry, Inc. The plaintiff-general contractor made payments to the defendant-mason for work which closer inspection might have shown to be defective. This was not a material variation from the compensation provisions of the subcontract. Neither could any failure to inspect the mason’s work constitute a failure to satisfy a duty owed to the mason. Any inadequacy in the general contractor’s inspections did not constitute a failure of a condition precedent to performance of the mason’s bond.

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Contract – Real Property — Commercial Lease – Service Station – Fuel Purchase Agreement – Covenant Not to Compete (access required)

BP Products North America Inc. v. Stanley The 4th Circuit reverses summary judgment for defendant service-station operator in plaintiff fuel distributor’s suit to enforce a restrictive covenant that was part of a Purchase Sale Agreement and deed and prohibited the service-station operator from selling non-BP branded products or offering certain automotive services; in a 2-1 split, the panel majority says Virginia courts apply a different test to allow broader restrictions for noncompetes in purchase agreements, but a dissent says Virginia won’t allow “blue-penciling” the contract.

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Contract – Internet Advertising – Real Property – Rentals – Wrong Location – ‘Click Through’ Terms & Conditions (access required)

Kraft Real Estate Investments, LLC v. HomeAway.com, Inc. Plaintiffs allege breach of contract based on the defendant-advertising websites’ listing of plaintiffs’ rental properties as being in Myrtle Beach when the properties are in fact in North Myrtle Beach. Most of plaintiffs’ claims are rejected based on disclaimers and limitations of liability in the “terms and conditions” to which plaintiffs agreed when placing their advertisements.

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Contract – Real Property – Moisture Warranty – Unfair Trade Practices — Damages (access required)

Babaee v. Moisture Warranty Corp. Defendant’s brochure said, “We know what steps to take to assure homeowners that their home is dry, and we guarantee their home will remain dry during the term of the warranty ... or we’ll pay to get it dry.” Defendant’s warranty defined “excessive moisture” as any moisture reading equal to or above 25 percent.

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Contract – Contracting Party – Limited Partnership – Corporate Owner – Individual Defendant (access required)

Adams Outdoor Advertising, Ltd. Partnership v. Dangerfield Plaintiff sold outdoor advertising to Johnny’s Suzuki and filed this action to collect unpaid installments on the contracts. Although defendant contends that Johnny’s Suzuki was operated by Johnny’s Enterprises, Inc. - an S.C. corporation of which defendant is the registered agent - defendant failed to show that the contracts were between plaintiff and Johnny’s Enterprises.

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Contract – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction — Iraqi Military Equipment — Refurbishment & Disposal Agreement – Foreign Sovereign Immunity Rejected (access required)

Wye Oak Technology Inc. v. Republic of Iraq In this dispute over a company’s contract with the Iraqi Ministry of Defense to refurbish and dispose of Iraqi military equipment, the district court did not err in denying Iraq’s motion to dismiss on the basis of foreign sovereign immunity, the 4th Circuit says. Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1602-11, a federal court has subject matter jurisdiction only if that claim falls within one of the FSIA’s exceptions to immunity.

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Contract – Memorandum of Understanding – Hotel Development – Quantum Meruit – Promissory Estoppel (access required)

Stevens & Wilkinson of South Carolina, Inc. v. City of Columbia Even though the parties’ memorandum of understanding (MOU) contemplated the negotiation of future agreements, there is evidence from which a jury could decide that the MOU itself was an enforceable contract. We reverse summary judgment for the city on the plaintiff-architect’s breach of contract claim and the plaintiff-developers’ quantum meruit claim. We affirm summary judgment for the city on the architect’s promissory estoppel claim.

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