The case of the day is CTI Systems, SA v. Herr Industrial, Inc. (E.D. Pa. 2015). CTI, a Luxembourg company, contracted with Herr, a Pennsylvania corporation, for supplies and labor in connection with a “painting installation” in Kansas. The contract amount was $5.2 million, and the contract had Luxembourg choice of law and choice of forum clauses. According to the allegations in the complaint, Herr failed to complete the work required by the contract, and CTI overpaid Herr.
In 2014, CTI sued Herr in the District Court of Luxembourg, seeking to recover the alleged overpayment. Herr was served with process but did not appear. The Luxembourg court entered a default judgment for nearly $400,000. CTI then sued in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, seeking recognition and enforcement of the judgment.
In between the date of the Luxembourg judgment and the date when CTI sued on the judgment, Herr sued CTI in the District of Kansas, alleging that it was still owed money under the contract. The suit alleged a violation of the Kansas Fairness in Private Construction Contracts Act (the KFPCCA), which requires all payment disputes concerning Kansas construction contracts to be brought in Kansas courts. Herr served process on CTI before CTI filed its suit for recognition and enforcement.
The issue before the Pennsylvania court was whether to dismiss CTI’s claim on the grounds that the Kansas suit was the first-filed suit.
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The case of the day is Continental Transfert Technique Ltd. v. Federal Government of Nigeria (D.C. Cir. 2015). I last wrote about the case in August 2011. In 1999, Continental, a Nigerian corporation, made a contract with Nigeria’s Ministry of the Interior to create a computerized residence permit and alien card system. After disputes about the contract arose, Continental initiated an arbitration in London, pursuant to the contract. The arbitrators entered an award in favor of Continental in 2008 for ₦ 29.6 billion. Continental sought recognition and enforcement of the award in Washington. Here was my earlier summary of what happened next.
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The case of the day is Hyundai Securities Co. v. Lee (Cal. Ct. App. 2015). Lee was the CEO of Hyundai Securities from 1996 to 2000. Several Hyundai shareholders brought a shareholder derivative action against Lee in the Seoul Southern District Court, claiming that Lee was guilty of securities fraud. Lee appeared and defended. The Korean court entered judgment in favor of Hyundai for approximately $24 million plus interest at 20%. A portion of the damages were for a criminal fine Hyundai paid in Korea on account of Lee’s acts. Lee appealed to the Seoul Court of Appeals and then to the Korean Supreme Court. Both appellate courts dismissed the appeals. The dismissals were based on the merits. Hyundai then sought recognition of the judgment in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The court entered judgment in favor of Hyundai in a summary proceeding, but the Court of Appeal reversed on the grounds that Hyundai could not proceed by way of a petition but had to seek summary judgment. I covered this aspect of the case in April 2013. On remand, Hyundai moved for summary judgment. Lee argued that the court could not recognize the portion of the judgment attributable to the criminal fine, or the 20% interest rate. The court entered judgment in favor of Hyundai, and Lee appealed.
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