Posts tagged "0904717"

Petrucci v. Esdaille, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-047-17)

1 COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT SUCV2016-03998-BLS2 DANIEL P. PETRUCCI, Plaintiff vs. CHARLES ESDAILLE, CHRISTOPHER HAYES, DUNCAN MCINTYRE, and ALTENEX, LLC Defendants MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT ALTENEX, LLC’S MOTION TO DISMISS COUNT VII This case arises from business dealings among four people who formed a company called Market Maker Solutions, LLC (MMS), a business venture intended to utilize information technology in the area of renewable energy and carbon emissions abatement. Plaintiff Daniel Petrucci and defendants Charles Esdaile and Christopher Hayes each owned 30 percent of MMS; defendant Duncan McIntyre owned the remainder. The Second Amended Complaint (the Complaint) alleges that, after extracting from Petrucci his knowledge and expertise, the defendants froze him out by falsely telling him that MMS was worthless, dissolving the company, and then transferring MMS’s assets to a new entity, which ultimately became the defendant Altenex, LLC (Altenex). On July 1, 2017, this Court (Salinger, J.) dismissed the 93A claim asserted against the three individual defendants, concluding that it arose from an intra-corporate dispute to which Chapter 93A does not apply. The case is now before the Court on Altenex’s Motion to Dismiss the 93A claim against it. This Court concludes that the Motion must be ALLOWED, essentially for the same reasons articulated by Judge Salinger. 2 Count VII of the Complaint is brought pursuant to G.L.c. 93A § 11, which requires that both the plaintiff and the defendant be engaged in the conduct of “trade or commerce.” “It is well established that disputes between parties in the same venture do not fall within the scope of G.L.c. 93A section 11.” Szalla v. Locke, 421 448, 451 (1995) and cases cited therein. “’Intra-enterprise’ disputes, including those…between or among fellow shareholders are essentially private in nature, and thus not considered ‘commercial transactions’ within the meaning of c. 93A.” Selmark Associates, Inc. v. Ehrlich, 467 Mass. 525, 549 (2014), quoting Milliken & Co., v. Duro Textiles, LLC, 451 Mass. 547, 563 (2008). It was for this reason that Judge Salinger dismissed the 93A claim against the three individual defendants. Plaintiff argues that, because Altenex is a separate and distinct entity, there was no “intramural relationship” between him and Altenex, putting the claim against Altenex on a different footing. This Court disagrees. Count VII alleges that Altenex is “vicariously liable” for the unfair and deceptive acts and practices of the individual defendants and itself engaged in unfair and deceptive conduct. But the wrongdoing described in the Complaint is based entirely on the conduct of the individual defendants at a time when they, together with Petrucci, were members of MMS: they misrepresented its value, then transferred its assets and misappropriated property jointly owned with Petrucci, thus […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 7, 2017 at 5:56 pm

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