Articles Posted in U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Holston sued LanLogistics for breach of contract when LanLogistics never gave Holston an opportunity to match Gartlan's offer to purchase LanBox. Holston was a citizen of Florida and LanLogistics was incorporated in Delaware, maintaining its corporate headquarters in Miami, Florida. But by the time Holston filed suit, LanLogistics had dissolved and formally forfeited its authority to conduct business in Florida. At issue on appeal was the citizenship of a dissolved corporation for purposes of diversity jurisdiction and whether summary judgment was appropriately entered where there could have been a genuine issue of material fact. The court held that LanLogistics was only a citizen of Delaware and the court had subject matter jurisdiction where LanLogistics dissolved and formerly withdrew from business before Holston filed suit. The court reversed the district court's supplemental summary judgment order and remanded for a determination regarding the fair market value of each company in the package deal to identify the percentage of the purchase price used to purchase LanBox. View "Holston Investments Inc. B.V.I., et al. v. LanLogistics, Corp." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs are personal investment holding corporations owned by two related Panamanian shareholders. Defendants, of who there are two distinct groups, are (1) a related group of banking corporations operating under the umbrella of Banco Santander, which provide banking, investment, and other financial management services; and (2) certain individual officers/employees of Santander. This dispute arose from plaintiff's investment of an undisclosed sum of money with defendants. At issue was whether a district court, having found a valid contract containing an arbitration clause existed, was also required to consider a further challenge to that contract's place within a broader, unexecuted agreement. Having considered those circumstances in light of Granite Rock Co. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters and other relevant precedent, the court found that the district court properly construed the law regarding arbitrability in dismissing plaintiff's suit. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Solymar Investments, Ltd., et al. v. Banco Santander S.A., et al." on Justia Law

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Relators brought a qui tam action against defendant and its subsidiaries, alleging violations of the reverse false claim provision of the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729(a)(7). Relators subsequently appealed the district court's dismissal, with prejudice, of their third amended complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The district court held that relators failed to allege with particularity, as required by Rule 9(b), that defendants knowingly made false statements for the purpose of concealing or avoiding an obligation to pay money to the government. Count I alleged that the 2008 Certification of Compliance was false due to the failure to report or remit the million dollars in identified Overpayments, and that defendants made and used the Certification to conceal and avoid the obligation to remit Overpayments. Count II involved the same obligation to remit Overpayments within thirty days but was based on a separate scheme and separate false records. The court held that relators have sufficiently pled each element of a reverse false claim for the Certification of Compliance and the district court's dismissal of Count I was reversed. The court also held that relators have pled all the remaining elements for a reverse false claim for the Discovery Samples and thus, the district court's dismissal of Count II was reversed. View "Matheny, et al. v. Medco Health Solutions, Inc., et al." on Justia Law

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Davidson Directors and PBGC appealed the district court's order to distribute all of News-Journal assets to Cox, a long-time shareholder of the closely-held News-Journal. The court vacated the order, interpreting Florida's election-to-purchase statute to require that any payment made as a result of a corporation's share repurchase decision complied with the distribution requirements of Fla. Stat. 607.06401, which prohibited the distribution of corporate assets to a shareholder if it would render the corporation insolvent. Because the court considered any payment to Cox a distribution to a shareholder within the meaning of the statute, the district court erred when it ordered the distribution of all of News-Journal's assets to Cox without applying the insolvency test contained in the statute. If on remand, the district court finds a distribution to Cox would violate the statute, News-Journal's other creditors should receive payment before any distribution is made to Cox. View "Cox Enterprises, Inc. v. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp; Cox Enterprises, Inc. v. Davidson, et al." on Justia Law

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In this securities fraud class action, the investor plaintiffs sued the defendant company and three of its principal officers, alleging that they had made a series of eleven false or misleading statements to the public, in violation of section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, 15 U.S.C. 78a et seq. Plaintiffs claimed that the false statements had the effect of artificially inflating the price of defendant's stock until the truth belatedly came out, at which time the stock price dropped and plaintiffs suffered substantial financial losses. The court held that the district court properly dismissed plaintiffs' claims arising from the alleged misstatements made on March 5, 2004 and July 26, 2004, because plaintiffs have inadequately pled scienter and falsity. However, as for plaintiffs' claims arising out of defendant's February 23, 2005 and March 16, 2005 statements, the court vacated the district court's entry of summary judgment. The court held that the securities laws prohibited corporate representatives from knowingly peddling material misrepresentations to the public, regardless of whether the statements introduced a new falsehood to the market or merely confirmed misinformation already in the marketplace. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Findwhat Investor Group, et al. v. Findwhat.com, et al." on Justia Law

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DynaVision (X) sued Brenda Smith, Robert Thomas, and Bryan Ownbey, (Y) alleging that they breached a fiduciary duty to tell X that Shelby Peeples (Z) had financed the purchase of its interest and moreover, that Y's failure to disclose Z's involvement fraudulently induced X to sell its interest to Y. X also brought suit against Z, the case before the court, alleging that Z violated federal securities law, state securities law, and state common law by denying involvement in the transaction and causing X to sell its interest to Y. X lost both cases on summary judgment because Y's alleged misrepresentation about Z's involvement in the buy-out did not cause X to sell its interest. Rather, X sold because it was in X's economic self-interest to do so. X needed Y's skills; had X purchased Y's interest, it would have had no one to run the carpet factory or to market its product. X therefore had no economically viable option but to sell. After assessing the merits of X's claims, the court affirmed the judgment granting summary judgment. View "Ledford, et al. v. Peeples, Jr." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff joined a suit alleging violations of state and federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1961-68, laws against defendants. EMI Resorts and DMK appealed the district court's entry of an agreed order appointing a receiver-like "monitor" to oversee defendants' financial and business assets. The court held that because defendants failed to demonstrate facts sufficient to nullify their consent to the district court's appointment of the "monitor" and to its waiver of jurisdictional objections, the court declined to vacate the district court's order. View "Hofmann v. EMI Resorts, Inc." on Justia Law

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This appeal involved a contract dispute between Bart Enterprises International, Ltd. (Bart Enterprises), and its assignees (Bart Group), and Walter Mercado Salinas (Mercado) where the contract described Bart Enterprises as being "in the business of producing and distributing entertainment programming," and described Mercado as "a well-known psychic and astrologer who provide[d] psychic and astrological counseling to the public." The court held that the district court did not err in denying the Bart Group's motion for a new trial on the issue of damages; the district court did not abuse its discretion by striking the Bart Group's six proposed expert witnesses; the district court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to grant the Bart Group a new trial on damages based on the sufficiency of the evidence; there was nothing wrong with the judge's closing comment; the district court did not err by denying the Bart Group's motion for judgment as a matter of law or in the alternative, to amend the judgment to include nominal damages; and because the court had determined that there were no errors constituting an abuse of discretion, there was no accumulation of error either. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Walter Int'l Prod., et al. v. Walter Mercado Salinas, et al." on Justia Law

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Martin J. Bradley III and his father, Martin J. Bradley, Jr. (collectively, the Bradleys), owned Bio-Med Plus, Inc. (Bio-Med), a Miami-based pharmaceutical wholesaler that purchased and sold blood-derivatives. This case stemmed from multiple schemes to defraud the Florida and California Medicaid programs by causing them to pay for blood-derivative medications more than once. The Government chose to prosecute the schemes and a grand jury indicted eight individuals, including Albert L. Tellechea, and two companies, Bio-Med, and Interland Associates, Inc. The Bradleys, Bio-Med, and Tellechea subsequently appealed their convictions and raised several issues on appeal. The court affirmed the Bradleys', Bio-Med's, and Tellechea's convictions, and Bradley III's and Bio-Med's sentences. The court vacated Bradley, Jr.'s sentences on Counts I and 54 and Tellechea's sentence on Count 3, and remanded those counts for resentencing. The court reversed the district court's October 4, 2006 order appointing the receiver and monitor, and its supplemental receivership order of May 17, 2007. The court finally held that, as soon as circumstances allowed, the receivership should be brought to an immediate close.