Hadassa Investment Security Nigeria, Ltd. v. Swiftships Shipbuilders LLC

Plaintiff: Hadassa Investment Security Nigeria Ltd
Defendant: Swiftships Shipbuilders L L C
Case Number: 6:2013cv02795
Filed: October 2, 2013
Court: Louisiana Western District Court
Office: Lafayette Office
County: St. Mary
Referring Judge: C Michael Hill
Presiding Judge: Richard T Haik
Nature of Suit: Other Contract
Cause of Action: 28:1346
Jury Demanded By: None

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Date Filed#Document Text
January 12, 2016 96 Opinion or Order of the Court REASONS FOR JUDGMENT - It if hereby held a contract between the parties existed as there was a clear meeting of the minds and a sufficient offer and acceptance with regard to a deposit being placed on the Dominican Republic boat. It is further held t he $500,000 was a deposit intended to secure the Dominican Republic boat, Finally, it is held the $500,000 is the property of Hadassa. Under the circumstances of this case, there was no breach of contract under any theory and damages for sa me are DENIED. Further, the facts of this case do not constitute contractual fraud which would result in a recision of the contract. Damages for that claim are also DENIED. It is held a conversion took place when Swiftships asserted ownership over th e deposit, as evidenced by written refusal to refund, with no legal basis for retention. Swiftships is ORDERED to return the $499,970.00 to Hadassa within 60 days of the date of Judgment. It is held the elements of fraud are not present in this case and damages for the same are DENIED. The issue of prescription as to this claim is MOOT. Based on the foregoing, the $499,970.00 is held to be a deposit, which should have been returned under the law upon the failure of the contract. The r emaining claims, as they pertain to earnest money, are inapplicable in this case and DENIED. As there was no breach of contact and this Court has already determined that both parties bear some degree of fault for the failure of the contract, the clai m for detrimental reliance is DENIED. As such, it is held the failure to return the funds or communicate in a reasonable manner with Hadassa is a continuing violation through this date, as the funds have yet to be returned or deposited with the Court . Based on this analysis, as well as that set forth above with regard to the May 21, 2014 date, the claim under LUTPA has not prescribed. It is further held the failure to return the $499,970 deposit upon Hadassa's demand, with no legal bas is for such refusal, was an egregious and unethical act which rose to the level of a violation of LA R.S. 51.1401-1430. As such, it is held the plaintiff is entitled to treble damages. It is held Hadassa's damages are limited to the $499,97 0 deposit, which was wrongfully withheld by Swiftships. It is hereby held that treble damages in the amount of $1,499,910.00 are ordered in favor of Hadassa Investment Security Nigeria, Ltd. and against Swiftships Shipbuilders, LLC to be paid wi thin sixty (60) days of this Judgment. For clarification, the return of the deposit ordered for conversion is encompassed in the LUTPA damage award. The full amount of the judgment rendered herein against Swiftships, on all counts and before interest and attorney fees/costs is $1,499,910.00. As such, an award for Mr. Nelken's out of pocket travel expenses is DENIED. Consequently, it is hereby ordered that Swiftships Shipbuilders, LLC pay attorney fees and costs as submitted by plaintif f in the amount of $60,130.00 within sixty (60) days of the date of this judgment. Finally, this Court notes it has discretion in the reward of pre-judgment interest. Under the circumstances of this case and given the award of treble damages, pre-judgment interest is DENIED. Post-judgment interest at the current federal rate is GRANTED from the date of Judgment. Signed by Judge Richard T Haik, Sr on 1/11/16. (crt,Guidry, C)
April 22, 2015 76 Opinion or Order of the Court MEMORANDUM RULING re 41 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment filed by Hadassa Investment Security Nigeria Ltd, 60 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Swiftships Shipbuilders L L C. Signed by Judge Richard T Haik, Sr on 4/22/15. (crt,Jordan, P)
March 20, 2015 66 Opinion or Order of the Court ORDER denying 51 Appeal of Magistrate Judge Decision re 49 Order on Motion to Amend/Correct, Motion Hearing. Signed by Judge Richard T Haik, Sr on 03/19/2015. (crt,Williams, L)
April 9, 2014 20 Opinion or Order of the Court MEMORANDUM RULING re 17 First MOTION to Dismiss For Failure to State a Claim Plaintiff's Amended Complaint filed by Swiftships Shipbuilders L L C. Signed by Judge Richard T Haik, Sr on 4/9/14. (crt,Jordan, P)
February 4, 2014 13 Opinion or Order of the Court MEMORANDUM ORDER: Before the Court is 9 MOTION to Dismiss For Failure to State a Claim Complaint and 12 Memorandum in Opposition and Request for Leave to Amend. Based on the foregoing, IT IS ORDERED that plaintiff, Hadassa Investment Nigeri a Ltd's Request for Leave to Amend is GRANTED and plaintiff is given 21 days to amend its Complaint. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant Swiftships Shipbuilders L L C's Motion to Dismiss is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE and may be reasserted within 21 days of an Amended Complaint being filed. Signed by Judge Richard T Haik, Sr on 2/4/2014. (crt,Putch, A)

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Plaintiff: Hadassa Investment Security Nigeria Ltd
Represented By: Neil H Mixon
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Defendant: Swiftships Shipbuilders L L C
Represented By: Faisal M Gill
Represented By: Joseph Arthur Tabb
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