Case Summaries

Government Contracts

[04/25] Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore
In a construction company's suit against a city for breach of contract, alleging that the city unlawfully assessed liquidated damages against the company for failure to complete a construction project on time, the district court?s dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is affirmed where plaintiff is not excused from the normal requirement of administrative exhaustion under Maryland law.

[04/24] City of L.A. v. AECOM Servs., Inc.
In third-party claims brought by the City of Los Angeles for breach of contract and contribution against contractors that allegedly breached their contractual duty to perform services in compliance with federal disability regulations in the design and construction of a bus facility, the district court's dismissal of the City's claims is reversed where: 1) Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act did not preempt the City's state-law claims because the ADA expressly disavows preemptive federal occupation of the disability-rights field; and 2) conflict preemption also did not preclude the City's claims.

[04/18] Coventry Health Care of Mo., Inc. v. Nevils
In an insurance class action arising in the context of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act of 1959 (FEHBA) authorization of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to contract with private carriers for federal employees' health insurance, 5 U.S.C. section 8902(a) and (d), the Missouri Supreme Court's decision, preventing federal employee insurance carries from seeking subrogation and reimbursement if there is a conflicting state law, is reversed where, because contractual subrogation and reimbursement prescriptions plainly 'relate to . . . payments with respect to benefits,' section 8902(m)(1), they override state laws barring subrogation and reimbursement.

[04/11] Diaz v. US
In a complaint filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims challenging the Contracting Officer's rejection of plaintiff's unsolicited proposal to the U.S. Department of the Navy's Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (IHEODTD) pursuant to 48 C.F.R. (Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)) Subpart 15.6 (2015), the Claims Court's grant of the government's motion to dismiss is affirmed where there is lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Rules of the Court of Federal Claims (RCFC) because he lacked standing under 28 U.S.C. section 1491(b)(1) (2012).

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Probate Trusts

[04/20] Bresler v. Wilmington Trust Co.
In a breach of contract action brought by personal representatives of an estate, the district court's judgment that trustee-defendant breached an agreement to lend money for the acquisition, maintenance, and certain investments relating to life insurance policies obtained for plaintiffs, is affirmed over defendant's arguments that the district court erred in admitting testimony from the plaintiffs' expert witness, the jury verdict including the award of damages was not supported by the evidence, and additional terms of the district court's order also were not supported by the evidence.

[04/20] US v. Harris
In a case in which the beneficiary owes restitution ordered following his 1997 conviction, the district court's decision that a writ of continuing garnishment attaches to a beneficiary's interest in discretionary support trusts is affirmed where the beneficiary's interest in the trusts, which were established by his parents for his support, qualifies as 'property' under 28 U.S.C. sections 3002(12), 3205(a) and 18 U.S.C. section 3613(c).

[04/19] Tepper v. Wilkins
In a suit among siblings on behalf of plaintiff's 88-year-old mother, claiming plaintiff's siblings' actions individually and while serving as trustees of mother?s revocable living trust constituted financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult, the trial court's judgment, sustaining defendant's demurrer without leave to amend and dismissing plaintiff's elder abuse action on standing grounds, is affirmed where: 1) the cause of action for elder financial abuse belongs to mother as the real party in interest; and 2) the court did not err in sustaining the demurrer without leave to amend.

[04/04] US Small Business Admin. v. Bensal
In the SBA's action seeking to satisfy a default judgment assigned to it, arising after the default on a loan that SBA guaranteed between a private bank and defendant's company, the district court's judgment in favor of the SBA is affirmed where: 1) the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act (FDCPA)'s 'fraudulent transfer' provision allows the federal government to void a fraudulent transfer by a debtor owing a debt to the United States; 2) the FDCPA displaced California's disclaimer law, California Probate Code section 283; 3) defendant's disclaimer constituted a transfer of property under the FDCPA, and California disclaimer law did not operate to prevent the SBA from reaching defendant's trust share; and 4) defendant owed a 'debt' to the United States.

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