TradeWinds Airlines, Inc. v. C-S Aviation Services. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-15-0833, 8 pp.) (Ben F. Tennille, Ch.J.) N.C. Bus. Ct.
Holding: Where the third-party defendant participated in settlement negotiations, advancing non-frivolous legal positions, the court declines to award attorney’s fees to the third-party plaintiffs in connection with the judgment on their unfair-trade-practices claim.
Damages in this case were contested and involved extensive expert testimony. If the damages claims brought by claimants Coreolis Holdings, Inc. (Coreolis) and TradeWinds Holdings, Inc. (Holdings) did not cross the border of speculation, they reached the very edge of the line. Further, the claimants were not originally united in their positions.
Even if third-party defendant C-S Aviation Services’ failure to resolve this matter had been unwarranted, the court would still have declined to award attorney’s fees.
Collectively, claimants have an award in excess of $80 million. Claimant TradeWinds Airlines, Inc. was in distress when it was purchased by Coreolis and Holdings, when it was sued by Deutsche Bank, and when it went into bankruptcy under its new owners.
C-S Aviation was defunct when the suit was brought. It had no assets. No party sought to pierce the corporate veil in this case.
No party even sought a default judgment until a party in another case in another jurisdiction was successful in piercing C-S Aviation’s corporate veil, exposing the deep pockets of George Soros and Purnendu Chatterjee. If the claimants individually and collectively prevail in piercing the corporate veil in their other litigation and collect on the default judgment in this case, then they will have been more than adequately compensated for any damages.