Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

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Plaintiff filed suit against defendants, alleging fraud and conspiracy and seeking as damages the difference between the price he paid and the actual value of the restaurants he purchased from defendants based on a multiple of the restaurants' actual sales. The district court granted summary judgment for defendants, concluding that plaintiff failed to introduce adequate evidence of damages, particularly of the actual value of the restaurants at the time of the sale. The court vacated and remanded, concluding that plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to create a dispute of material fact as to the amount of their damages. In this case, plaintiff attempted to estimate with reasonable precision the actual value of the restaurants at the time of purchase, using the widely accepted income-based approach with a capitalization multiplier that was purportedly the industry standard and that the parties allegedly used to agree on the $600,000 purchase price. View "Sharma v. USA International, LLC" on Justia Law

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Champion Pro filed suit against Impact Sports and others, principally alleging that Impact Sports engaged in deceptive and unfair practices in violation of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Practices Act (UDTPA), N.C. Gen. Stat. 75–1.1, by their recruitment of a football player, Robert Quinn. The court affirmed the district court's denial in part of Champion Pro's motion for sanctions based on the alleged spoliation of evidence and grant of Impact Sports motion for summary judgment on all claims. The court agreed with the district court that Champion Pro's allegations, even when assumed to be true, are insufficient to establish a violation of the UDTPA. Likewise, Champion Pro's civil conspiracy claim fails as a matter of law. Finally, Champion Pro's claim that the district court erred in failing to award sanctions in the form of an adverse jury instruction is moot. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Champion Pro Consulting Group v. Impact Sports Football" on Justia Law

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This case arose more than fifteen years ago as a bid-rigging scheme conjured up by shipping businesses to defraud the United States. In the qui tam proceedings at issue, a jury returned a verdict in 2011 against the Gosselin defendants. Relators appealed, contesting the district court's refusal to award civil penalties. The court granted relief and remanded for further proceedings. On remand, the district court was called upon to resolve the issue of whether relator Kurt Bunk was entitled to recover his judgment from another defendant, Government Logistics N.V. (GovLog). As a preliminary issue, the court concluded that the Peacock v. Thomas principle is inapplicable here, and the district court’s exercise of supplemental jurisdiction over the successor corporation liability claim against GovLog was entirely appropriate. The court concluded that the district court properly declined to apply the substantial continuity test here. However, the district court erred by dismissing Bunk's successor corporation liability claim as insufficiently pleaded. Finally, the court concluded that the district court erred in making the summary judgment award to GovLog. Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded for further proceedings. View "US ex rel. Kurt Bunk v. Government Logistics N.V." on Justia Law

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Victims of a massive ponzi scheme centered in South Carolina obtained a judgment of over $150 million against Derivium and others. Plaintiffs are now pursuing others whom they claim also participated in the scheme. The district court granted Vision International's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction under FRCP 12(b)(2). The district court also granted Randolph Anderson, Patrick Kelley, and Total Eclipse's motion for judgment as a matter of law on plaintiffs' claim for aiding and abetting common law fraud. Plaintiffs filed separate appeals on the two rulings. The court consolidated the appeals. The court concluded that, because the parties engaged in full discovery on the jurisdictional issue and fully presented the relevant evidence to the district court, that court properly addressed Vision International’s Rule 12(b)(2) motion by weighing the evidence, finding facts by a preponderance of the evidence, and determining as a matter of law whether plaintiffs carried their burden of demonstrating personal jurisdiction over Vision International. Further, the court agreed with the district court’s conclusion that South Carolina has not recognized a cause of action for aiding and abetting common law fraud and that it is not the court's role as a federal court to so expand state law. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment as to both appeals. View "Grayson v. Anderson" on Justia Law