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Complex Commercial Litigation Update

July 13, 2017

In the second quarter of 2017, the Delaware Superior Court's Complex Commercial Litigation Division ("CCLD") issued a number of interesting decisions touching on contractually shortened limitations periods, insurance coverage issues, and contracts involving foreign defendants.  Each of the decisions highlighted this quarter demonstrates the diverse subject matter of the ongoing cases in the CCLD.  If you would like more information regarding the CCLD, please visit our website.

Judge Davis Grants Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss by Applying a Contractually Shortened Limitations Period
In Bedrock Leasing Corp. v. Lexington Ins. Co., C.A. No. N16C-08-084-EMD-CCLD, Judge Davis granted defendant Lexington Insurance Company’s (“Lexington”) motion to dismiss, and held that the claims asserted by plaintiffs Bedrock Leasing Corporation, WFNY I, LLC, and BulGroup Colorado LLC (collectively, “Bedrock”) were untimely under a suit limitation clause in the parties’ property insurance contract.  
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Special Discovery Master Brady Grants Defendants’ Motion to Compel, Finding Plaintiff’s Responses to Be Insufficient and Lacking Substance
In LCT Capital, LLC v. NGL Energy Partners LP, C.A. No. N15C-08-109-WCC-CCLD, Special Discovery Master Kevin F. Brady granted a motion by defendants NGL Energy Partners LP and NGL Energy Holdings LLC’s (collectively, “NGL”) to compel plaintiff LCT Capital, LLC (“LCT”) to supplement responses to interrogatories and revise privilege and redaction logs.  
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Judge Davis Orders Insurance Company to Indemnify Plaintiff in Breach of Duty to Defend Case
In CNH Industrial Am., LLC v. American Casualty Company of Reading, Pa., C.A. No. N12C-07-108-EMD-CCLD, Judge Davis held that defendant Travelers Indemnity Company (“Travelers”) must indemnify plaintiff CNH Industrial America, LLC (“CNH”) for defense costs in over 200 underlying asbestos-related lawsuits.  In prior decisions, the Court determined that, among other things, Wisconsin law applied to the policies at issue and that Travelers had a duty to defend CNH for particular claims. 
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Judge Davis Denies Motion to Dismiss After Finding Forum Selection Clause in Separate Agreement Inapplicable
In SRL Mondani, LLC v. Modani Spa Resort, Ltd., C.A. No. N16C-04-010-EMD-CCLD, Judge Davis denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ complaint, holding that a forum selection clause in one of the parties’ contracts did not supersede the Delaware forum selection clauses in the two agreements under which the dispute arose.  Judge Davis additionally rejected the defendants’ alternative forum non conveniens argument.
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Judge Wallace Rules on Summary Judgment Motions Concerning Defendants’ Liability in Asbestos Coverage Suit 
In Motors Liquidation Co. DIP Lenders Trust v. Allianz Insurance Co., C.A. No. N11C-12-022-PRW-CCLD, an insurance coverage suit concerning underlying asbestos claims against General Motors (“GM”), Judge Wallace granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff concerning transfer of rights, trigger, and the number of occurrences under the applicable insurance policy.  The Court also granted the defendants’ summary judgment motions on allocation.  
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