Plaintiff alleged that he was the victim of a fraudulent scheme in which he allowed an attorney to take title to his home and strip it of its equity by granting a new mortgage. Plaintiff filed suit against the mortgagee in an effort to avoid foreclosure. A federal district court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim that the mortgage was void. The district court denied Plaintiff’s subsequent motion to amend his complaint. The First Circuit affirmed the dismissal of Plaintiff’s complaint and the denial of his motion for leave to amend, holding (1) Plaintiff’s complaint provided no legal basis for making the bank liable for the attorney’s wrongdoing; and (2) Plaintiff failed adequately to plead facts supporting his proposed amendments to his complaint, and therefore, his new claims were also futile.View "Giuffre v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co." on Justia Law
Plaintiff sought damages resulting from a delayed delivery of perishable food items from Puerto Limón, Costa Rica to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The district court dismissed as time-barred by the statute of limitations in the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 46 U.S.C. 30701. The First Circuit affirmed,rejecting and argument that the parties meant to incorporate COGSA solely for the purpose of limiting the carrier's liability to $500, per COGSA's limitation of liability provision and equitable arguments. View "Greenpack of PR, Inc. v. Am. President Lines" on Justia Law
Posted in: Commercial Law, Contracts, International Law, International Trade, U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals
The companies are direct competitors in importing and distributing pharmaceutical ingredients manufactured in China. Plaintiff claimed that defendant intentionally interfered with one of its contracts and sought damages. In court-ordered settlement negotiations, plaintiff demanded $675,000. Defendant made a counter-offer, demanding that plaintiff pay it $444,444.44 in order to settle the case and avoid a motion for sanctions and a suit for malicious prosecution. The court noted that the peculiar amount was due to the fact that the number four is considered an unlucky number in Chinese culture because it is homophonous with the Chinese word for death, but concluded that it was not a death threat and declined to impose sanctions. The court later entered summary judgment for defendant. The First Circuit affirmed the court's refusal to impose sanctions under FRCP 11. Plaintiff's claims were not patently frivolous.
Posted in: Business Law, Commercial Law, Contracts, Drugs & Biotech, International Trade, U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals
Plaintiff, a resident of Nevada, negotiated an oral contract with defendant, a citizen and resident of Israel. Defendant worked for one of plaintiff's companies, a Delaware corporation with offices in Massachusetts and Israel, from 1996-2000 and claimed that the agreement entitled him to a 12 percent investment in plaintiff's casino venture. Plaintiff claimed that defendant was entitled to 12 percent of net from high-tech sector investments recommended by defendant and filed a declaratory judgment action. On remand after reversal of dismissal for forum non conveniens, the district court ruled in favor of plaintiff. The First Circuit affirmed, first holding that defendant's contacts with Massachusetts were sufficient for jurisdiction. The district court properly placed the burden of proof on defendant, the natural plaintiff who would have had the burden of proving his affirmative claim to the 12 percent option in a damages action; the burden of proof was, nonetheless, not dispositive. The record supported the finding that there was no meeting of minds on the option.