Justia Commercial Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Finance Authority of Maine v. Grimnes
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court against Appellant, guarantor of a promissory note held by Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), holding that the superior court correctly determined that neither of two of the default provisions contained in Article 9 of Maine’s Uniform Commercial Code - 11 M.R.S. 9-1607 and 9-1626 - required FAME to prove the reasonableness of its decision not to pursue the collateral before it could obtain a judgment against Appellant. FAME extended a loan to Harbor Technologies, LLC. Harbor executed a promissory note and security agreement under which its assets were pledged as collateral to secure the note. Appellant executed a personal guaranty of Harbor's obligations to FAME. After Harbor defaulted on the loan, FAME sued Appellant on his guaranty for the entire amount due. The circuit court entered judgment in favor of FAME. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that, in light of the independent and unconditional nature of Appellant's guaranty, the court was correct when it determined that neither section 9-1607 nor section 9-1626 imposed a burden on FAME to prove the commercial reasonableness of its decision not to pursue the collateral before it could obtain a judgment against Appellant. View "Finance Authority of Maine v. Grimnes" on Justia Law
Greif v. Independent Fabrication, Inc.
The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the district court dismissing Appellant's compliant alleging revocation of acceptance and breach of warranty as time-barred, holding that the court relied upon facts contained in documents that exceeded the scope of the facts that may be considered by the court in the context of a motion to dismiss. Appellant brought this action alleging claims with respect to a bicycle frame that he purchased that was manufactured by Independent Fabrication, Inc. The district court dismissed the complaint as barred by the four-year statute of limitations set forth in Me. Rev. Stat. 11, 2-725. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the order of dismissal on procedural grounds and remanded for further proceedings, holding that the court's consideration of matters outside the pleadings in granting Independent's motion to dismiss was in error. View "Greif v. Independent Fabrication, Inc." on Justia Law
Arundel Valley, LLC v. Branch River Plastics, Inc.
Arundel Valley, LLC, the developer of a facility for a butter manufacturer, filed a complaint against Branch River Plastics, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of insulated roofing panels, alleging, inter alia, defects in roofing panels that Branch River had manufactured and supplied to Arundel Valley for a construction project. A jury found in Arundel Valley’s favor on its claims that Branch River breached implied warranties by supplying defective roofing panels. Branch River filed a motion for a new trial, which the court denied. The Supreme Judicial Court reversed, holding that the trial court erred in declining to adjudicate whether Branch River had disclaimed implied warranties. Remanded. View "Arundel Valley, LLC v. Branch River Plastics, Inc." on Justia Law
Darling’s Auto Mall v. General Motors LLC
Darling’s Auto Mall is a franchisee of General Motors LLC (GM) and and authorized dealer. Darling’s filed two small claims actions in district court alleging that it had been underpaid by GM for certain warranty repairs in violation of the Business Practices Between Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, Distributors and Dealers Act (Dealers Act). The district court ruled in favor of Darling’s on both small claims. GM appealed and requested a jury trial de novo. The superior court granted GM’s request. After a jury trial, the superior court entered a judgment in favor of GM. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the superior court’s decision to grant a jury trial de novo was not an appealable determination; (2) the trial court did not err in denying Darling’s motion for judgment as a matter of law; and (3) the trial court properly rejected Darling’s proposed jury instructions. View "Darling's Auto Mall v. General Motors LLC" on Justia Law