The attorneys at Eckland & Blando have successfully litigated many high-profile cases across the country. Both at the trial and appellate level, and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, we have aggressively defended our client’s legal rights against both private parties and the Government.
Examples of verdicts, court orders, and appellate decisions in which our attorneys have acted as lead counsel include the following:
Franconia Associates v. United States, 536 U.S. 129 (2002). The U.S. Supreme Court held, in a unanimous decision reversing the Federal Circuit, that a Federal Statute that negates a contractor’s contractual right constitutes a repudiation of that right, as opposed to a breach, and thus the statute of limitations under 28 U.S.C. § 2501 does not begin to run until a contractor seeks to enforce its since-repudiated contractual right. On remand, the Court of Federal Claims ordered the Government to pay plaintiffs over $13 million in damages. Franconia Associates v. United States, 61 Fed. Cl. 718 (2004). Subsequent settlements with similar claims across the country have led to additional recoveries that currently total well over $500 million in damages.
Staffing Specifix, Inc. v. TempWorks Management Services, Inc., et al., 913 N.W.2d 687 (Minn. 2018). The Minnesota Supreme Court held, in a unanimous decision affirming the Minnesota Court of Appeals decision granting defendants a new trial (896 N.W.2d 115), that the trial court erred by instructing the jury to construe ambiguous contract language against the drafter before instructing the jury to review relevant extrinsic evidence reflecting the parties’ intent.
Callaway Manor Apartments, Ltd. v. United States, 940 F.3d 650 (Fed. Cir. 2019). The Federal Circuit held, in a decision reversing the trial court, that a property owner’s accrued claims for breach of contract against the Government survived a transfer of the property that included a general assignment of all property rights. The Court also held that the property owner maintained a constitutional takings claim for the diminished value of its real property.
Airport Road Associates v. United States, 866 F.3d 1346 (Fed. Cir. 2017). The Federal Circuit held, in a decision reversing the trial court, that, when the Government repudiates a contract right, the statute of limitations under 28 U.S.C. § 2501 begins to run, and thus a breach occurs, at the time the contractor indicates it intends to perform, and not when the contractor notifies the Government of intended performance. Subsequent settlement led to a recovery exceeding $4.5 million.
Covanta Hennepin Energy Resource Co., LLC v. County of Hennepin, 16-cv-3086, 2017 WL 2303966 (D. Minn. May 25, 2017). Successfully moved for summary judgment to defeat defendant’s counterclaim that plaintiff breached the contract. Subsequent settlement led to a recovery exceeding $8 million.
JG Staffing Arizona, LLC et al. v. ARA, Inc. et al., Ramsey County District Court File No. 62-CV-15-3329 (2016). After a jury trial, successfully obtained a complete defense verdict on claims arising out of termination of factoring agreement and obtained a judgment exceeding $1 million on the Factor’s counterclaims for breach of factoring agreement, fraud, conversion, and civil theft.
Ramona Investment Group v. United States, 115 Fed. CI. 704 (2014). Successfully defeated the Government’s motion to dismiss based on the statute of limitations under 28 U.S.C 2501. Subsequent settlement led to a recovery exceeding $1.2 million. See also Ramona Investment Group II v. United States, No. 12-652C, 2014 WL 7129717 (Fed CI. Dec. 14, 2014) (related case on the same issue that led to another recovery exceeding $1.2 million).
Computerized Assessments & Learning, LLC v. Data Recognition Corporation, Hennepin County District Court File No. 27-CV-11-24418 (2013). After a jury trial, successfully obtained verdict on plaintiff’s breach of contract claims and awarded damages exceeding $1.4 million.
Carpenter v. United States, 69 Fed. Cl. 718 (2006). Successfully defeated the Government’s motion to dismiss that argued that the plaintiff could not recover because she was not in privity of contract with the Government as the sole surviving joint tenant and representative to her deceased parents’ estate. Subsequent settlement lead to a recovery exceeding $500,000.
Grass Valley Terrace et al. v. United States, 69 Fed. Cl. 341 (2005). Successfully defeated the Government’s motion for summary judgment based on a statute of limitations defense under 28 U.S.C. § 2501. Subsequent settlement lead to a recovery exceeding $11 million.
Allegre Villa v. United States, 60 Fed. Cl. 11 (2004). Successfully defeated the Government’s motion for summary judgment arguing that it did not breach the contract because of the unmistakability doctrine. Subsequent settlement lead to a recovery exceeding $30,000,000.
Kvaerner ASA v. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Ltd., 210 F.3d 262 (4th Cir. 2000). The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s granting of a petition to compel arbitration based on a construction contract.
Eastover Ridge, LLC v. Metric Constructors, Inc., 533 S.E.2d 827 (N.C. App. 2000). The North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s contract and other related claims brought by owner of apartment complex against general contractor.
UFE Inc. v. Methode Electronics, Inc., 808 F. Supp. 1407 (D. Minn. 1992) The district court upheld the jury’s verdict finding damages of $436,000 in a breach of contract action involving airbag production for Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler automobiles.
Chancellor Manor v. United States, 331 F.3d 891 (Fed. Cir. 2003). The Federal Circuit held, in a decision reversing the trial court, that a Federal Statute that repudiates a contractor’s preexisting contract right related to real estate may constitute a Fifth Amendment taking of that property. On remand, the parties obtained a judgment exceeding $15 million in damages.
Technical Ordnance, Inc. v. United States, 244 F.3d 641 (8th Cir. 2001). The Eighth Circuit held, in a decision reversing the trial court, that genuine issues of material fact precluded summary judgment on claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) in favor of defendants, including a federal agent in a Bivens action for wrongful prosecution in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
United Power Association v. FEMA, No. A2-99-180, 2001 WL 17891404, (D.N.D. Aug. 14, 2001). The district court denied the Government’s motion to dismiss and allowed a trial on plaintiff’s claim against FEMA for denial of equal protection in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
Allstate Financial Corporation v. United States, 109 F.3d 1331 (8th Cir. 1997). The Eighth Circuit held, in affirming the trial court’s final judgment for damages and interest exceeding $1.5 million, that plaintiff adequately placed the IRS on notice of its lien under the UCC and thus the IRS wrongful seized government contract proceeds.
ARA, Inc. v. City of Glendale, 17-cv-2512, 2019 WL 330899 (D. Ariz. Jan. 25, 2019). Successfully obtained denial of the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the basis that the Factor’s letter constituted sufficient notice of an assignment under § 9-406. See also ARA, Inc. v. City of Glendale, 17-cv-2512, 2018 WL 1411787 (D. Ariz. March 21, 2019) (prior order denying defendant’s motion to dismiss on the basis that the UCC does not require a Factor to include an explicit after-acquired property clause in a security agreement).
Government Contract Administrative Appeals
Appeals of AEY, Inc., ASBCA No. 56470, et al., 18-1 BCA ¶ 37076 (June 22, 2018). Successfully sought conversion of terminations for cause to terminations for convenience (T/C) of five (5) contracts for arms and accessories for use by the Security Forces of Iraq.
Appeals of Alliant Techsystems, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 47626, 51280, 00-2 BCA ¶ 31,042. The Board found appellant not liable for defective pricing of a “Black Ops” contract for a Persian Gulf War weapons system under the Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA), thereby avoiding $1.5 million in excess costs and interest.
Appeals of TMI Coatings, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 46682, 46871, 94-2 BCA ¶ 26,954. Successfully awarded equitable adjustment for latent defects in jet fuel tanks at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Bermuda.
Appeal of Technical Ordnance, Inc., ASBCA No. 38142, 93-3 BCA ¶ 26,089 (May 19, 1993). Successfully sought conversion of termination for default (T/D) to termination for convenience (T/C) of a MK Stabilizer contract for Navy torpedoes.
Appeals of McNally Industries, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 43027, 44688, 93-3 BCA ¶ 26,130. Successfully awarded equitable adjustment for Army machine gun defective technical data package.
Federal Bid Protests
In re Control Corporation, B-253410.3, 95-2 CPD ¶ 127 (July 5, 1995). Successful protest of contract award to Control Data Systems, Inc. for the maintenance of computers at the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) at Point Mugu, California.
In re Multi-Bloc, Inc., B-259182.2, 95-1 CPD ¶ 217 (April 20, 1995). Successful award of fees and costs in protest of contract award for a firing range at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.
Jurgens v. CBK, Ltd., 80 F.3d 1566 (Fed. Cir. 1996). The Federal Circuit held, in vacating the trial court’s damages award, that the court abused its discretion by not awarding additional damages because of the defendant’s bad faith, which was a finding by the jury. The parties later settled the case for approximately $1.3 million.
Gronholz v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, Court File No. 3-94-cv-1239 (1996). After a jury trial, successfully obtained verdict finding that defendant did not infringe on plaintiff’s patent in patent infringement action involving a Craftsman power tool, where plaintiff sought $3.2 million in damages.
Saleem v. Heimie’s Haberdashery, No. 11-823, 2011 WL 4971566 (D. Minn. Oct. 19, 2011). Successfully obtained grant of motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s Title VII claims against employer.