Commercial & Contract

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Our lawyers have had great success in a variety of commercial litigation matters outside of the antitrust field, particularly in the area of contract and franchise litigation.

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In Rabinovici v. Solomont, 2002 WL 32341776 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 03, 2002), lawyers from the firm successfully defended an elderly widow who had co-signed as a surety a note her son had executed for one million dollars. When the son defaulted, the lender pursued an action against the mother to recover on the note. Howard Langer obtained a summary judgment in favor of the mother dismissing the claim against her by establishing that she was an uncompensated surety and that the terms of the transaction had not been fully disclosed to her or in the note itself.

In Volunteer Firemen’s Insurance Services, Inc. v. CIGNA Property and Casualty Insurance Agency, 693 A.2d 1330 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1997), the firm’s lawyers enforced a contractual covenant not to compete that CIGNA had entered into fifteen years earlier with its largest agency and obtained an injunction against CIGNA which enforced the covenant. The agency had developed and brought to CIGNA plans for a major new line of insurance and, in return for the disclosure of the valuable plan for the new form of insurance, CIGNA had agreed not to enter the market itself for a period of years should the relationship with the agency ever terminate. When, after many years, the agency determined to market the insurance without the aid of CIGNA’s underwriting, CIGNA announced plans to enter the market directly itself. The court enforced the contract and both preliminary and finally enjoined CIGNA from entering the market.

Lawyers with the firm won full damages following trial in Accurate Recycling Co. v. Chesapeake Corporation. In that case, Chesapeake Corporation had a ten-year contract with the plaintiff to purchase and recycle all of the used corrugated boxes generated for recycling by Pathmark Stores in several metropolitan areas. However, early in the contract period the open market price of old corrugated containers fell below the floor price in the contract. At the same time Chesapeake began to accuse the plaintiff of delivering overly contaminated shipments of boxes. Trial established the acceptable quality of old corrugated material shipped by plaintiff and the fact that the findings of poor quality coincided with the fall in the market price. The proof was so strong that the Court directed a verdict in favor of the plaintiff on one claim and the jury awarded full damages on the other.