Our clients range from small, family-owned business to Fortune 500 companies. The firm has litigated contract disputes in industries as varied as manufacturing, professional services, joint ventures, motorsports, franchising, leasing, lending, and insurance, just to name a few. The firm's attorneys have represented contract cases in almost every state and in dozens of federal district courts.
Contract Litigation WHEN IT COUNTS
A core feature of Barnes & Thornburg's commercial litigation practice is representing our clients in disputes that arise out of contracts. The firm's commercial litigators regularly represent clients in contract disputes of varying complexity in both state and federal courts throughout the United States.
- INSIGHTS & EVENTS
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a heavy equipment manufacturer who secured favorable jury findings following a jury trial of a commercial dispute involving breach of contract, breach of warranty and fraud in Starr County, Texas (The Valley). (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney defended a professional employment recruiting company, in a suit brought by the former company president against parent company, parent’s majority owner, and general counsel. The suit involved a complex contract dispute over former president’s claim that his employment compensation agreements included ownership interest in the company. The suit was successfully mediated early in the litigation process.
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney defended Stellhorn against America's Directories' claim of breach of contract, and brought a counterclaim for fraud. Following trial, jury found in favor of Stelhorn on original claim and on counterclaim, awarding Stelhorn its damages, attorney fees and punitive damages. On appeal of jury’s verdict for Stellhorn; appellate court affirmed lower court's ruling. America's Directories, Inc. v. Stellhorn One Hour Photo, Inc., 833 N.E.2d 1059 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005).
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney has served as lead arbitration counsel in defense of a $30 million dealer-distributor termination brought against an electronics company. The claimant alleged breach of contract and conspiracy to terminate its national distributorship of surge suppression products. Claimant was awarded nothing and ordered to pay on EFI's trademark infringement counterclaim.
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a coal mining company in an action under Federal Act to compel defendant to international arbitration in coal supply contract dispute. PT Kaltim Prima Coal v. Intergen Servs., No. 1:03cv10573 (D. Mass., filed Mar. 28, 2003).
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a coal supplier in litigation enforcing a long-term coal supply agreement following declaration of force majeure by supplier and buyer’s subsequent refusal to accept delivery. PT Kaltim Prima Coal v. AES Barbers Point, Inc., No. 00 Civ. 7196 (AKH) (S.D.N.Y. 2001).
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a distributor in a dispute against the plaintiff, a former dealer, who alleged a newly enacted statute applied to its prior relationship with the snowmobile manufacturer. The trial court dismissed the plaintiff’s original complaint on the grounds that the retroactive application of the new statute was an unconstitutional impairment of contract. 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80147.
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a group of investors in the prosecution of a breach of contract claim and obtained summary judgment on promissory note. Collected full amount owed through citation to discover assets on behalf of clients.
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a health care company and company chairman/CEO who secured a take-nothing jury verdict against civil fraud and contract claims arising from a hospital asset purchase transaction. The client also secured a favorable jury verdict on a civil wiretapping counterclaim. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a health care company in a case involving complex employment and business disputes in a Texas county court on claims of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of noncompetition covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference, conspiracy and statutory theft. The health care company client prevailed, securing a multimillion-dollar jury verdict. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a major homebuilder and won reversal and a summary judgment on appeal in a dispute about the meaning of terms in a developer’s agreement to build a residential subdivision. Beazer Homes Indiana, LLP v. Carriage Courts Homeowners Ass'n, Inc., 905 N.E.2d 20 (Ind. Appl. 2009).
A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a national bank in a case in the Ninth Circuit in which the court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the bank, holding that bank could not be liable for tortious interference with contract to which it was a party.
Calstar LLC v. First Union National Bank, 111 Fed. Appx. 454 (9th Cir. 2004). (This matter occurred prior to the attorney joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP.)
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a public utility in the defense of a multi-million dollar dispute with municipality over termination of 35-year lease of electric distribution/transmission system. As part of representation, Mr. Brown guided client through state court and agency litigation while managing media relations in widely publicized dispute and successfully achieved settlement of claim once valued at over $100 million at de minimis cost to company.
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a student transportation company and successfully prosecuted breach of contract action for improper termination against school district on behalf of client.
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a supplier of CT scanning equipment in a case filed in the Southern District of Ohio to enforce the terms of an equipment agreement for the installation and operation of a CT machine in a regional hospital. The case settled on favorable terms for our client.
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a Taiwanese client who manufactures graphic cards for video games and brought suit against US company for breach of contract and RICO claims for nonpayment for delivered product. Info-Tek Corp. v. Visiontek Prods., LLC, No. 1:09cv2955 (N.D. Ill., filed May 14, 2009).
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented an international ingredient manufacturer in a breach of contract dispute. Ms. Lazar tried the case, resulting in victory for ingredient manufacturer. (This matter occurred prior to the attorney joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP.)
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented large global chemical solutions company in a breach of supplier agreement. Stepan Company sued its former customers for breach of contract and breach of warranty. Stepan Company v. Burlington Chemical Co, LLC, No. 1:09cv6175, (N.D. Ill., October 2, 2009).
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented nursing home client in contractual dispute with vendors and obtained favorable settlement on behalf of client.
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented Stepan in product contamination case involving breach of warranty claims where the supplier provided non-conforming goods that caused business interruption and property damage. Stepan Company v. Summit Resource Group, Inc, No. 1:11cv7019 (N.D. Ill., October 5, 2011).
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented United Food Group in a contract dispute involving the purchase of frozen beef. United Food Group was based in California and the case was litigated in Minnesota. The case involved disputes regarding UCC forms issues as well as questions about timing of deliveries.
A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represents real estate clients, including Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), real estate developers, contractors, architects, commercial landlords, property owners and homebuilders, in wide-ranging complex commercial litigation, dispute resolution and counseling. The attorney’s experience includes litigating, arbitrating and advising real estate clients in construction disputes, real-estate related disputes, development agreements, joint venture arrangements, operating agreements, lease agreements and tenant/landlord disputes.
An example of the attorney’s experience includes representing a commercial real estate company and obtaining preliminary injunction preventing tenants from ceasing operations at a shopping center. Glendale Centre, LLC v. The Limited, Inc. et al., Cause No. 49D11-0206-PL-000994 (Marion Superior Court, Indiana).
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney served as counsel in a $20 million health care arbitration dispute concerning breach of contract and various business tort claims. (This matter occurred prior to the attorney joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP.)
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney served as Counsel in a patent infringement case that settled favorably less than twenty-four hours prior to trial in Marshall, Texas. (This matter occurred prior to the attorney joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP.)
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney served as counsel in several multi-million dollar bankruptcy adversarial proceedings pertaining to oblique statutory provisions, complex accounting, and commercial contract disputes. (This matter occurred prior to the attorney joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP.)
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney serves as lead counsel in an $8 million commercial contract dispute that involves several complex interrelated contracts and carve-out provisions pertaining to license agreements and royalty payments.
- A Barnes & Thornburg attorney successfully defended client on breach of contract case brought by former heavyweight champion George Foreman by winning on summary judgment. Foreman v. Karibu Foods Inc., No. 1:04cv6803 (N.D. Ill., filed Oct. 21, 2004).
A jury awarded client Schneider Electric a verdict of $1,087,500 plus interest dating back to December 7, 2009, in a federal case filed by Schneider Electric’s predecessor, Square D Company, involving the sale of Square D circuit breakers and panel boxes to the defendants in violation of defendants’ agreement to purchase the products at deeply discounted prices in exchange for their promise to install the products only in homes where they were acting as the electrical contractor, not to resell them on the open market.
Our client sued the defendants, House of Power (a residential electrical contractor based in Houston) and its owner, Albert Chlouber, for breach of contract and fraud upon discovering defendants’ unauthorized resale of nearly four thousand of Square D’s products on eBay and nearly 70,000 Square D products to a reseller of counterfeit Square D products. Square D Company v. House of Power Electric, L.C. and Albert Chlouber, Civil Action No. H-09-3917 (Southern District of Texas).
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys defended an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) against warranty, fraud, and misrepresentation claims asserted by purchaser. Purchaser claimed more than $4 million in damages, but ultimately dismissed suit without any payment of damages or settlement.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys defended Fortune 500 company with a diversified product portfolio, against third-party vendor claims alleging breach of contract, intentional interferance with business relationship, and fraud. Potential damages escalated into the multi-millions and plaintiff's allegations of fraud threatened to significantly harm the client's brand. After more than 1.5 years of contentious litigation (which included obtaining helpful admissions from plaintiff in deposition), the matter was settled on extremely favorable terms to the client inclusive of the protection and preservation of the company brand.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys defended JET Credit Union against criminal conversion claim; court reversed lower court's summary judgment order for Loudermilk, holding that Loudermilk could not recover for criminal conversion and remanded the case for entry of summary judgment in favor of firm client, JET. JET Credit Union v. Loudermilk, No. 49A04-0608-CV-475 (Ind. Ct. App. 2008).
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys defended the successor of a policyholder against a lawsuit in federal court in Connecticut in which an insurance company alleged that the indemnity provision of a claim services agreement required the policyholder to reimburse the entire amount of a product liability settlement and defense costs. The client only had to pay its deductible, and the 1980s occurrence-based CGL policies remain in place.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys have represented Mercedes-Benz USA in over 20 cases taken to trial in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, where plaintiffs sought compensatory and other damages for breach of warranty, state Lemon Laws and violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. These cases were litigated through trial and post-trial appeals.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys have represented several multi-unit residential home builders in connection with residential water intrusion claims, subcontractor disputes, warranty issues and construction defect claims.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys obtained reversal of order, dismissing case for lack of personal jurisdiction in a commercial dispute regarding unlawful debts from a bank account by two casinos.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys prosecuted a $25 million breach of contract claim on behalf of an auto finance company who acquired and securitized automobile retail installment loan contracts. The lawsuit sought damages as a result of the defendants’ failures to properly service the securitized loans as required by the parties’ contracts. Our client prevailed achieving a favorable settlement prior to trial.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represent a steel manufacturer in a breach of contract matter involving the destruction of a bridge crane at Severstal Steel. On behalf of the plaintiff, we are seeking in excess of $25,000,000 for defendant’s negligence, which caused the collapse and destruction of a crane during a heavy wind event. Severstal Sparrows Point, LLC v. Kinder Morgan Bulk Terminals, Inc., No. 1:09cv1668 (Maryland, June 24,2009).
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a chemical manufacturer allegedly supplying defective technology to a toll manufacturer in a chemical plant explosion case involving personal injury and property damage; pursued counterclaim through lengthy jury trial resulting in pre-verdict settlement.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a debt collection company in a dispute involving Plaintiffs claims that our client violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and committed Indiana state law torts for the manner in which they were contacted in attempting to collect a debt. The federal district court granted a motion to compel arbitration and no arbitration was filed.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a global printing ink company in the prosecution of a breach of contract claim based on buyer’s failure to honor requirements contract. Case settled favorably for plaintiff client.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a large national homebuilder in litigation in Kentucky and successfully pursued claims against more than 20 subcontractors seeking to recover millions of dollars spent remediating defective construction work in residential homes. Beazer Homes Investments LLC v. Stephens, No. 06-CI-0345 (Fayette Cir. Ct. 2006).
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a major consumer and commercial lock manufacturer in a dispute over a contract for custom-made machinery. The Plaintiff sued client alleging breach of contract, the intentional interference with contract and business relationships and seeking multiple-millions of dollars in damages. After protracted, contentious litigation, the matter was resolved favorably for the client in settlement.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a promotional products company in the defense of breach of contract claims and prosecuted counterclaim for fraud in California. After defeated motion to dismiss counterclaim, lawsuit settled favorably.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a publicly traded REIT in the Business Court in Raleigh, North Carolina. The court entered an order in favor of firm client dismissing an approximate $7 million claim against our client alleging tortious interference with prospective economic advantage. The REIT and a neighboring landowner had entered into an agreement regarding the sharing of costs to construct a roadway project adjacent to their respective properties. The neighboring landowner and its principals alleged that our client tortiously interfered with their prospective joint venture with a third party by breaching the roadway development contract. Our client’s argument addressed an unsettled issue under North Carolina law as to whether the REIT had "induced" the third party to abandon the proposed joint venture. The court agreed with our client, holding that the element of having "induced" an interference requires more specific proof than simple causation, as the claimants had argued. In so holding, the court stated that the claimants' position "would make every contracting party potentially liable for the types of damages available for intentional torts . . . whenever the failure to fulfill a contract for any reason caused" the loss of a prospective business opportunity. The ruling could be precedent-setting in many states given the absence of clear precedent on what must be pleaded and proven to establish an interference.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a steel manufacturer in a breach of contract case involving the purchase of silicomanganese from a raw material supplier. Defendant was the only supplier of silicomanganese in North America and refused to honor a blanket purchase order issued by the Plaintiff after the silicomanganese market crashed and caused the price to escalate. On behalf of the Plaintiff, firm attorneys persuaded the district court to reject the Defendant’s argument that it never accepted the purchase order pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code. After a bench trial, the district court awarded the firm client approximately $600,000, which reflected the damages incurred by the client when it had to cover at a higher price. MacSteel, Inc. v. Eramet N. Am., No. 2:05cv74566 (E.D. Mich., filed Dec. 1, 2005)
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a subcontractor defendant in a construction accident case, including a third-party claim against the general contractor for contractual defense and indemnity. The client appealed the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, where the client won complete indemnification and attorneys’ fees.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a utility company in construction dispute with contractor involving claims of cost-overruns and details beyond the scope of the project. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of client. Atlas Excavating v. Indiana-American Water Co., Inc., No. 41 A 01-0407-cv-3327.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a workers’ compensation self-insurers trust fund in a breach of contract case against the fund’s third-party administrator (TPA). The client alleged that the TPA committed widespread mishandling, causing excessive losses and expenses among more than 3,000 self-insured workers’ compensation claims. The client obtained a favorable $2.35 million judgment following a bench trial in federal court in Atlanta and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirmed.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented an Indiana manufacturer of component mirrors for RV industry, in a suit brought by California distributor who sued client’s subsidiary and majority owner. The suit was filed in Los Angeles County and the claims included a breach of contract by company whose assets had been acquired by the client. All but one of the Distributor’s claims were defeated early in the litigation, after which the remaining claim was resolved.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented Centerplate, Inc. in in its successful defense of a multi million dollar claim brought by nationally renowned event producer Barton G. Centerplate obtained summary judgment and also prevailed on a Daubert challenge to plaintiff's expert that led to the expert being barred from testifying and negating plaintiff's damages claim. BGW Design Limited, Inc. v. Service America Corporation Case No. 10-6833 (S.D. Fla. 2011); BGW Design Limited, Inc. v Service America Corporation, No. 10-20730-Civ. (S.D. Fla. Dec. 3, 2010).
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented landlord/university in copy center/tenant’s appeal of partial dismissal of action pertaining to lease dispute. Tenant alleged that lease provided it with the right to unilaterally elect unlimited 5 year extensions of the lease. Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in our client’s favor. Copy Servs. v. Univ. of Notre Dame Du Lac, No. 71A03-0606-CV-271 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007).
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented life insurance company in a case involving RICO, fraud and ERISA claims regarding a life insurance product. After a three-day trial, the jury entered a verdict for our client on the fraud and RICO claims and the trial court found in its favor on the ERISA claims. The Third Circuit then affirmed the district court. Faulman v. Sec. Mut. Fin. Life Ins. Co., No. 3:04-cv-05083 (D.N.J. 2008)
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented life insurance company in a dispute where the Plaintiff claimed fraud and breach of contract theories by alleging that she was told there would be no tax impact on a rollover of two annuities into a variable annuity. The federal district court granted summary judgment in client’s favor.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented MetLife Securities in a case that involved a claim that the insured was misinformed that a whole life insurance policy he purchased included a rider that would waive premiums if he became disabled. He subsequently suffered a disabling injury. He brought an arbitration before the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) claiming fraud and breach of contract. The panel unanimously rejected all of his claims.
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented pharmaceutical drug manufacturer in a declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration from the district court that defendant had a common law duty to indemnity manufacturer from product liability claims. Although the contract between the parties contained an indemnification provision which required the manufacturer to indemnify the defendant for its own negligence, the court held that such a provision was unenforceable under Michigan law and granted manufacturer’s motion for summary judgment on its claim for common law indemnification. JB Labs., Inc. v. Zee Med., Inc., No. 1:03cv630 (W.D. Mich., filed Sept. 29, 2003).
- Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented Simon in appeal involving lease dispute; lower court granted summary judgment for Simon, and granted Michigan Sporting Goods' (tenant's) motion to correct error; court upheld lower court's decision to grant motion to correct error. Simon Prop. Group, L.P. v. Michigan Sporting Goods Distribs., No. 79A02-0411-CV-989 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005).
- Barnes & Thornburg defended a specialty laminating company in a case involving breach of contract and UCC warranty claims arising from foil lamination services. Artistic Carton Co. v. thelamco, Inc., Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2009 WL 3060205, 70 UCC Rep.Serv.2d 621, N.D.Ind., September 22, 2009 (NO. 1:06-CV-316-TS).
- Barnes & Thornburg LLP attorneys represented Oasis Legal Finance, LLC in Hennepin County, Minnesota, in a case involving two individual plaintiffs who filed a putative consumer class action claiming that its legal funding purchase agreements with Oasis were champertous and void ab initio as contrary to Minnesota public policy. Oasis removed the case to federal court in Minnesota and moved to dismiss based on a forum selection clause in the agreements. The plaintiffs amended their complaint, asserting a host of new allegations designed to avoid the forum selection clause and adding a second putative class, consisting of attorneys representing the Minnesota consumers who had contracts with Oasis, claiming a need for guidance regarding the attorneys' obligations flowing from the agreements between Oasis and the consumers. Oasis again moved to dismiss all counts of the complaint, continuing to assert the forum selection clause as to the consumer class and also arguing that the attorney class lacked constitutional standing to assert its claims. The court agreed with our client Oasis, dismissing the consumer class' claims based on the forum selection clause and the attorney class' claims based on lack of constitutional standing, as the attorneys had suffered no injury in fact.
- Barnes & Thornburg represented a Fortune 500 company in connection with claims against its warehouse service provider arising out of the collapse of a roof at a facility located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Our investigation revealed that a large amount of snow and ice had accumulated on the roof, and that this was a concurrent cause of the roof collapse. On behalf of our client, firm attorneys persuaded the arbitrator to reject the service provider’s argument that it was not liable because the roof collapse was also caused by a defect in the steel girder and truss connections supporting the roof. The arbitrator awarded our client approximately $2.4 million, which was the majority of the damages sought.
- Barnes & Thornburg represented a homebuilding company in a multimillion dollar class action settlement by asserting claims against subcontractors. Colon v. Trinity Homes, LLC, No 29D02-0404-PL-374 (Hamilton Superior Court No. 2).
- Barnes & Thornburg represented a major managed health care company and obtained reversal of summary judgment as to insurance coverage for claims against client in complex, multiple-layer insurance arrangement.
- Barnes & Thornburg represented as lead counsel Alliance 3PL Corp., a third-party logistics provider in the trucking industry, in its successful breach of contract action against a Missouri trucking company that had solicited business from one of Alliance’s largest customers in violation of the contract between the two companies. After a week-long jury trial in federal court, Alliance obtained a $2.1 million jury verdict in its favor with assistance from Barnes & Thornburg. Alliance Logistics, Inc. v. New Prime, Inc., No. 1:07cv4944 (N.D. Ill., filed Aug. 31, 2007).
- Barnes & Thornburg represented client, Airport Authority/landlord, in suit with tenant for breach of lease. The tenant sought more than $1.1 million in damages, including lost profits, while the client sought $300,000+ in unpaid rents. After a bench trial, the judge entered a judgment for client for the entire amount of the rent, and against tenant on its claims for damages and lost profits.
- Barnes & Thornburg successfully defended cotton cooperative client in contract and securities claim brought by Refco for hedging losses incurred. Refco LLC v. Tri-County Gin & Cotton, No. 1:03cv4963 (N.D. Ill., filed July 17, 2003).
- In a $40 million dispute over the purchase of a software company, Barnes & Thornburg helped Roche obtain a TRO and a preliminary injunction in the district court and the court of appeals to prevent the sale of the target company pending arbitration. Roche Diagnostics Corp. v. Medical Automation Sys., Inc., 771 F. Supp.2d 936 (S.D. Ind. 2011), aff'd as modified, Roche Diagnostics Corp. v. Medical Automation Sys., Inc., 646 F.3d 424 (7th Cir. 2011).
- In one of the very first suits brought under the Minnesota Health Records Act, a Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a health benefit provider in a case involving allegations of a private health data breach and claims that the Plaintiff’s information was used in the company’s marketing materials. The case proceeded through discovery and the parties reached a confidential settlement.
- Mr. Gorenberg serves as National Coordinating Counsel for several defendants in asbestos personal injury litigation. He represents clients in various industries including automotive parts, plumbing equipment, and petroleum refining technology. Each client has different types of litigation risks and defenses. Mr. Gorenberg regularly works with each client to develop creative strategies suited to the particular circumstances of each specific client and every case.
- On behalf of firm client, Barnes & Thornburg attorneys defeated attempts by shopping plaza landlord to evict sublessor box store from space after original tenant failed to pay all amounts due under original lease.
- Plaintiffs were investors who allegedly suffered a multi-million dollar loss in their investment in a high-technology limited partnership. They sought class certification alleging fraud and breach of contract claims on behalf of similarly-situated investors. The district court dismissed plaintiffs’ fraud claim against Goldman in 2012. In 2013, the court granted summary judgment on plaintiffs’ contract claim. Kruse et al. v. Goldman Sachs & Co. et al., 897 F. Supp.2d 769 (N.D. Ind. Sept. 19, 2012); 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47918 (N.D. Ind. Apr. 2, 2013); Case No. 1:10-cv-00323 (Northern District of Indiana).
- Represented anesthesia group in lawsuit for breach of restrictive covenant and breach of fiduciary duty against former member doctor. Following jury trial, obtained jury verdict in favor of anesthesia group on all counts, enforced restrictive covenant, and obtained disgorgement of over a half million dollars for wages and benefits earned during breach of fiduciary duty.
The 7th Circuit affirmed summary judgment granted for America's Servicing Company, an affiliate of Wells Fargo Bank. The case involved alleged "pyramiding" of late fees on a home loan after the Plaintiff failed to make his required monthly payments. The 7th Circuit affirmed the granting of summary judgment on Plaintiff's RESPA, breach of contract and Indiana Home Loan Practices Act claims.
Of note for clients is the discussion of the Indiana Lender Liability Act and its prohibition of oral modifications of written loan agreements. This concludes litigation that included a putative national class action for all borrowers serviced by ASC that were charged late fees. Plaintiff's motion for class certification was denied, and the 7th Circuit ruling affirms summary judgment on the Plaintiff's individual claims. Collins v. America's Servicing Co., 652 F.3d 711 (7th Cir. 2011).
- The firm obtained dismissal of almost every claim against firm client Kenda Tires in a nationwide class action pending in the Southern District of Indiana. The plaintiff class alleged that thousands of high-end golf carts and all-terrain vehicles were rendered defective by faulty Kenda tires. The proposed class included more than 9,500 vehicles and a total exposure of more than $4 million. In an opinion that reconciled conflicting federal and state cases, the district court dismissed all but one warranty claim against Kenda on privity grounds. The district court also dismissed a claim under the consumer protection statutes of Indiana and several other states. The district court found that those claims were essentially fraud claims and must be pled with particularly. The court also held that the class complaint could not show that the named plaintiff actually relied on any statement by Kenda and therefore could not satisfy the reliance element necessary for a fraud claim.