Posts tagged "Fidelity"

Buffalo Water 1, LLC v. Fidelity Real Estate Company, LLC (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-103-17)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS   SUFFOLK, ss.                                                                                   SUPERIOR COURT                                                                                                              SUCV2017-1584-BLS 2                  BUFFALO WATER 1, LLC Plaintiff   vs.   FIDELITY REAL ESTATE COMPANY, LLC Defendant   MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS   This is an action challenging an independent appraisal of property as provided by an agreement between the parties, two sophisticated entities with experience in owning and leasing real estate.  The plaintiff, Buffalo Water 1, LLC (Buffalo) is the owner of the property, located at 7 Water Street in downtown Boston (the Property).   The defendant Fidelity Real Estate Company LLC (Fidelity) occupied the Property under a long term lease with an option to purchase the Property in the final year of the lease as set forth in an Option Agreement.    The Option Agreement sets the purchase price at 95 percent of the “fair market value” (FMV) or $ 16,275,000, whichever is greater.  If the parties could not agree upon the FMV, the Option Agreement set forth the specific appraisal process that the parties were to follow.   Fidelity timely exercised its option to purchase and, with the parties unable to agree to the FMV,   complied with the appraisal process, which included an independent appraisal. The Verified Complaint attacks the validity of the independent appraisal, contending among other things that the entity that employed the individual appraiser did not disclose a prior business relationship that it had with Fidelity. The case is now before the Court on Fidelity’s Motion to Dismiss.  In support, it relies on the Massachusetts common law rule that severely limits the scope of judicial review regarding appraisals contractually authorized by the parties.   Pursuant to that rule, the Court may invalidate an appraisal only where the appraiser plainly exceeded the scope of his authority or where the appraisal was the result of “fraud, corruption, dishonesty or bad faith.”  Nelson v. Maiorana, 395 Mass. 87, 89 (1985), citing Eliot v. Coulter, 322 Mass. 86, 91 (1947).  “The premise of the rule of restricted reviewability is that the contracting parties’ assignment of a valuation to an appraisal embodies their shared desire for finality.”  State Room, Inc. v. MA-60 State Assoc., LCC, 84 Mass.App.Ct. 244 249 (2013). Applying that rule to the allegations in the Verified Complaint, this Court agrees with the defendant that the Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.   Rule 12(b)(6), Mass.R.Civ. P. The independent appraisal was performed by Robert Skinner. Skinner worked for Cushman & Wakefield (Cushman), which was selected in compliance with the terms of the Option Agreement.  The Engagement Letter pursuant to which Cushman was hired stated that the appraisal would be performed in accordance with certain standards, including the Code […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 3, 2017 at 10:18 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ramos, et al. v. International Fidelity Insurance Company (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-073-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   13-P-1305                                       Appeals Court   JESSICA RAMOS & others[1]  vs. INTERNATIONAL FIDELITY INSURANCE COMPANY (and two companion cases[2]). No. 13-P-1305. Hampden.     September 8, 2014. – July 9, 2015.   Present:  Trainor, Rubin, & Sullivan, JJ. Bail.  Consumer Protection Act, Unfair or deceptive act, Vicarious liability, Surety.  Agency, Agent’s contract, Liability of agent, Scope of authority or employment.  Contract, Performance and breach, Surety, Damages.  Judgment, Interest.  Damages, Breach of contract, Interest.  Interest.  Practice, Civil, Summary judgment, Interest.  Surety.       Civil actions commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 2, 2010, November 17, 2010, and January 3, 2011.   After consolidation, the cases were heard by Richard J. Carey, J., on motions for summary judgment, and the entry of judgment was directed by Constance M. Sweeney, J.     Peter A. Slepchuk (Peter Slepchuk, Jr., with him) for the plaintiffs. Thomas F. McGuire & Michael J. Serduck for the defendant.     RUBIN, J.  The plaintiffs commenced these actions against the defendant, International Fidelity Insurance Company (IFIC), to recover cash collateral and certain bail bond insurance premiums collected from each of them by IFIC’s agent William Fiore, who is now deceased.  On cross motions for summary judgment, the motion judge allowed the plaintiffs’ motions on their counts alleging breach of contract, and also allowed IFIC’s motions on the counts alleging a violation of G. L. c. 93A.  The plaintiffs, with the exception of Ashley M. Keyes, appeal from the dismissal of their 93A claims, and the defendant appeals from the allowance of the plaintiffs’ motions on the breach of contract claims.  The defendant also appeals from the calculation of prejudgment interest. Background.  William Fiore worked as a bail bondsman in Hampden and Berkshire Counties.  It is undisputed that Fiore acted as an agent for IFIC, a New Jersey corporation.  IFIC is a successor to Atlas Bonding Agency with whom Fiore had an “Agency Contract.”  While that agreement was in effect, Fiore was authorized to act as Atlas’s — and then IFIC’s — agent for the soliciting and writing of bail bonds.  Fiore had been approved and registered by the Administrator of Bail as a professional bondsman for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and was authorized to act as an agent for the defendant.  That approval and registration were in effect at all times relevant to this case. Fiore was supplied by IFIC with powers […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 9, 2015 at 11:22 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,