Articles Posted in Breach of Contract

When a holding company guaranteed lease that a subsidiary assumed for railcars, and then failed to honor guaranty when subsidiary defaulted on the lease, judgment in favor of railcar supplier was affirmed. The appellate panel found that the holding company’s guaranty was a contract to pay a debt, not a lease for goods or services, and the Uniform Commercial Code did not apply as a result.

In January 2003, Ponderosa Petroleum Company entered into a lease with General Electric Railcar Services Corporation for 47 railcars to carry crude petroleum. Over the next several years, the companies executed several riders to the lease agreement extending the term of the lease agreement. The last extension gave the agreement a termination date of February 2020. In April 2015, Associated Energy Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of NuDevco Partners Holdings, assumed the obligation to make payments under the lease, though Ponderosa remained the party to the lease.

In September 2015, Union Tank acquired the lease, riders, and railcars from General Electric Capital Corporation. That same month, Associated Energy sent a notice of termination of the lease to GE Railcar, citing as a justification that the railcars were approaching the end of their permitted use to haul crude oil. The lease did not authorize termination for this reason. Associated Energy then began to return the railcars to Union Tank, and discontinued rental payments at the end of the month. Union Tank invoked NuDevco Partners’ lease guaranty, but NuDevco refused to honor it. Continue reading ›

IMG_6355_3-300x189The district court rejected personal jurisdiction over a business and two of its employees where the alleged breach of contract and tortious interference occurred in a different state, and the employees and business lacked sufficient contacts with Illinois to justify jurisdiction.

Tower Communications and TSC Construction are competitors in the business of building and repairing wireless communication infrastructure. In 2017, both companies were working on an infrastructure construction project that spanned North and South Carolina. Tower sued TSC, alleging that during this project TSC poached Tower’s employees, Gary Juknevicius and Ruslan Tulegenov, and that TSC obtained confidential information from the poached employees and used that information to benefit its business.

The employment agreements that Juknevicius and Tulegenov had provided that they could not work for a competing company that worked on the same project as Tower for a period of six months after their employment ended. The agreement also prevented the employees from soliciting Tower’s employees, and from disclosing confidential information to a competitor. Included in the agreements was an arbitration clause. Continue reading ›

A developer of healthcare software was denied damages for breach of contract. The court found that the developer had failed to take advantage of a substitute opportunity when its customer ceased paying on its consulting agreement and transferred its obligations to a successor company. Rather than contracting with the successor company, the owner of the software developer formed an entirely separate company to administer the new consulting arrangement. The court rejected this convenient manuever as a failure to mitigate damages, finding that the new arrangement would have completely offset the developer’s losses.

Orawin is a software technology consulting company, owned and operated by a single person. In 2002, the company developed software for SeniorDent, Inc., a dental management company that focuses on providing dental care to nursing home residents. In 2013, the two companies entered into a Consulting Services Agreement which required Orawin to maintain the software’s dental and vision operating systems and provide modifications determined by SeniorDent. SeniorDent agreed to pay Orawin a monthly retainer upon receipt of invoices.

SeniorDent later attempted to merge with Healthcare Delivered, LLC (“HCD”). HCD and Orawin entered into an amended consulting agreement, transferring all rights and obligations from SeniorDent to HCD. Two months later, the merger of SeniorDent and HCD fell apart, and HCD distributed SeniorDent to a holding company owned by the original owners of SeniorDent (“F&R”). HCD then transferred all of its rights to SeniorDent to the holding company. The owner of Orawin later sought payment for consulting services from HCD, and was told that the F&R was responsible for paying his invoice. The owner of Orawin later formed a new company, O&O, to provide services to the newly reorganized SeniorDent. SeniorDent paid O&O its standard fee beginning in December 2015 and has continued to pay every month since. Continue reading ›

Where circuit court did not err when it ordered plaintiff and defendant to each pay their own attorneys’ fees in case for breach of a lease agreement because the plaintiff and defendant both won and lost on some of their claims, and neither party prevailed on claims that were significantly complex.

Oak Forest Properties is a landlord that operates a strip mall in Oak Forest, Illinois. RER Financial is a franchisee of a consumer tax preparation business. The two companies entered into a commercial lease agreement. Oak Forest agreed to divide one of its buildings into two spaces, and RER agreed to lease one of those spaces. Oak Forest agreed to take on the construction costs of the division, and RER agreed to bear the costs of any interior construction of the space after the division.

The agreement required Oak Forest to finish construction before RER started any aspects of its interior build-out. The parties, however, ignored that requirement and combined their efforts to divide and build-out space, using the same contractor and a single building permit for all work. Eventually, the parties’ relationship broke down and RER exercised an option to terminate the lease. Continue reading ›

Being skilled at contracts and the negotiation process is important.  Knowing when to enter and when to exit is equally as important.  Some terms become non-negotiable and some bargaining points.  Knowing strategy, weakness and plus points always help.

Some key pointers include:

  1. Analyze -your source of power and know when to walk away –  the best source of power lies in an ability to walk away from bargaining.
  2. Listen – to what is being said, do not just assume – listen to the arguments being made.  Paraphrase and clarify where necessary.  Know where difficulties may lie in their stance.
  3. Trade off – where can you make concessions? Identify issues that the other party may value and the ones which you do not.
  4. Contingent – where penalties will be imposed or how events may unfold can be calculated in.  This becomes like a pilot test process.
  5. Rapport – what is the background history and level of trust.  Can this be established and built?

How Did Dish TV Network Use these skills in their Contractual Approach?

Dish Network TV obviously had to examine the scope of some of these questions when considering the need to re-negotiate contracts with certain TV Channels.  Certain demands of what they were wanting to be met and where they did not want to make an agreement were examined when they had to revise contractual agreements that had long been in place.

Why Renegotiate?

Renegotiation of contracts which were to be licensed with multiple other channels was made instead.  This time, it was decided that these contracts were to be entered into on a week-to-week basis.  A rapport was already in place. Majority of the disputes in the past and re-negotiations centered on programming or retransmission fees. Entering agreements this way, most possibly helps them gain greater control and leverage on when they want to be able to walk away from a contract without being bound to it on a long-term basis.

Some channels do not like to be at a point where an extension may not be a likelihood and do not enter those contracts for that reason.  This is a big change for what it used to have before, which was similar to the three-year contract.  Being able to hold accountability can give one party an upper hand when it comes to renewals.  Viewers also want to be kept out of any dispute and public image will matter.

These sorts of contracts can allow for gaining greater power but also require much time invested when it comes to re-entering contracts on a timely basis and can require scrutinization of terms and agreements over and over.  When disputes arise, they become programming disruptions.  There contracts also apply for channels in the Spanish language and have been subject to the most of the disruptions.  Continue reading ›

Handshake deals (known as “oral contracts” in the legal industry) have long thrived in Hollywood. If, for example, an agent agrees to represent an artist in exchange for a percentage of that artist’s income (known as a contingent fee), that agreement would be considered binding even without a written contract. Whether the same can be said of attorneys seeking a percentage fee was recently up for debate in Johnny Depp’s lawsuit against his former attorney, Jake Bloom.

The dispute began last fall when Depp sued Bloom for allegedly collecting more than $30 million in fees, despite the absence of a proper contract. Bloom countersued Depp for breach of contract, citing their 1999 handshake deal. Depp’s attorneys pointed out that California law does not recognize oral contracts, but Bloom’s attorneys maintained that the contract was ratified when Depp continued to accept legal services. Moreover, they pointed out that Depp continued to accept legal counsel from Bloom and his firm after settling his lawsuit with his former management company – a lawsuit that included allegations that the company had failed to maintain proper written agreements.

This last point Judge Terry Green found to be a point in favor of (rather than against) the need to maintain written contracts. Continue reading ›

Most people associate Fuji and Xerox with an office setting involving photocopying and printing. If you go to their website at: https://www.fujixerox.com They advertise smart work innovation that liberates from Restraints with an open professional expertise.  These are work aspects that most professionals want to aspire to be a part of and probably one of the reasons why they have taken off in the US market.

Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd., is a joint venture partnership between Fujifilm Holdings and Xerox, both being document related services.  Operating out of Tokyo, it was set to be one of the most powerful alliances held between the Japanese and Americans. Continue reading ›

Storms weather and can bring about the best and worst in people.  When damage occurs, the test of resilience, character, friendship and trust are all evaluated.  The process is not any easier when there is an Insurance company that one has to deal with and when there is the lurking possibility that they are handling thousands of claims at the same time.  All damages are subject to scrutiny, including the damage that takes place after storms.  Disputes arise in the context of property damage and to its extent. This firm is willing to assist as an All-American firm working for its citizens.  In the doing of so, we write and will consider assistance via phone if necessary.  Not all are easily able to navigate as emotions such as shock are still being overcome.

The competing interests that an insured and insurer have in the filing of a claim also makes it more painstakingly difficult.  Some perceive the insurance claims process as adversarial.  The insurance representative cannot guide to what is best in representation on the matter. This is since Insurance companies appear to be in a Business.  As such, the expectation to be fairly compensated is questionable.  While many pay on time and premiums it does not mean that what you give is what you will get back.  At times, adjusters may become overwhelmed in working on multiple cases that are catastrophic in nature and make mistakes or overlook damage.   That is why having an attorney best helps.   For those reasons, we have compiled a list of items that should be attended prior to discussing a case with an attorney or Insurance company.

Please ensure compliance with the following:

  1. By making a timely reporting of claim, as a failure to do so may result in its denial. This can normally be done via phone or online.  The claims process normally begins at this point: initial contact with the insurance company, an evaluation of your claim, negotiations, and a resolution/settlement.  At this point, an adjuster is normally assigned.
  2. Documentation of all video and photos of the damage, if possible.  It would even be better if those included prior and after.  Possible electronic receipts of any purchases made.
  1. The obtaining of independent quotes by contractor receipts in putting a price on the extent of the loss.  These may be challenged or questioned by the Insurance company, but are a good start and utilizing them may assist you in deciding whom you wish to use for the final repair.  Sometimes, supplements are required for damage that is hidden.  If disputed, the burden of proof can then move from the insurance company to the insured if the contractor estimate does not reflect the true damage sustained.

Continue reading ›

Patent licenses can mark the beginning of a fruitful relationship for both the patent owner and the licensee, but patent owners that focus only on the instant deal, waste time trying to pocket a little more money and draft a vague agreement may wind up going from the bargaining table to the courtroom.

Just recently, a major technology group involved in the production of cell phones has dropped two patent infringement lawsuits based on a new patent license agreement that has been entered into which continues the making of payments from the one company to the other.  At the time of the dispute, it was alleged that multiple patents were being used without permission and the patent pertained to the proprietary technology in commercial mobile devices.

The agreement has an ongoing agreement between the companies, so as to ensure that the payments do not stop.  Settlement was contingent upon withdrawal of litigation and the reaching of terms by which both parties could agree.  The financial structure of the terms ensured that this would be the case.   As the terms were reached privately, it was a matter of complete confidentiality.  The fact that this occurred, perhaps, changes the way in which other litigation can be viewed.  Attorneys may now suggest that new terms of agreement be reached prior to even filing suit, unless, of course, sometimes filing suit becomes strategy to bring an opposing party to settlement terms when a compromise situation seems unlikely.  Continue reading ›

In an age where people are paying and utilizing services online, a certain standard which is regulated by law and expected by clientele needs to be met.  That is why when a man from Illinois has decided to sue an online service for paying monthly fees for a service which he is claiming had multiple inactive or dead profile accounts.

In the complaint which is filed in a Federal Court, the service repeatedly asked him pay between $9.99 and $19.99 per month to connect with users who “liked” his profile after the creation of a free account, upon which, he immediately began receiving messages from other users who had supposedly liked his profile. To learn the identities of those who had liked his account, however, the plaintiff was prompted to pay for a premium, or “A-List,” service. The plaintiff alleges that right after the payment of $44.99, he knew something was amiss. Shortly thereafter, upon reviewing the profiles of individuals whose identities were previously hidden, the plaintiff allegedly discovered that most if not all of these people were associated with inactive or ‘dead’ accounts, making interaction or dating impossible.

It is alleged that the actions constitute a breach of contract and violate both the Illinois Dating Referral Services Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act with potential to seek class-action status. Continue reading ›