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Contracts – Licensing Agreement – Breach – Withdrawal of Admissions

Plaintiffs alleged that defendants used positions of trust for their own benefit and to the detriment of plaintiff following the failure of a pharmaceutical licensing agreement between the parties. Defendant/third-party plaintiff alleged third-party defendants interfered with plaintiff’s ability to comply with the licensing agreement. Because third-party plaintiff was prejudiced by third-party defendants’ untimely attempt to deny requests for admissions, third-party plaintiff was entitled to summary judgment since the predicate facts were deemed admitted.

The court denies third-party defendants’ motion to withdraw or amend admissions and grants third-party plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability in its claims for tortious interference and breach of contract.

Defendant/third-party plaintiff filed the present third-party complaint against third-party defendants, alleging they eliminated plaintiff’s ability to raise capital required by the license agreement to protect their stake in plaintiff and ability to earn commissions on funds raised for plaintiff. Third-party plaintiff further alleged one third-party defendant beached a nondisclosure agreement between the parties. Third-party defendants subsequently failed to respond to third-party plaintiff’s request for admissions.

We first rule that third-party defendants were not entitled to withdraw or amend their admissions, after their failure to timely respond to third-party plaintiff’s requests for admissions. We find that third-party plaintiff would be prejudiced by grant of third-party defendants’ motion, as the motion comes months after third-party plaintiff had filed its outstanding motion for partial summary judgment.

We therefore rule that third-party plaintiff was entitled to partial summary judgment on the issue of liability in its claims for tortious interference and breach of contract, as the facts underpinning third-party plaintiff’s claims have been deemed admitted by third-party defendants. We find that the admitted facts show there was a valid contract between plaintiff and third-party plaintiff, that third-party defendants had knowledge of this contract, and that they intentionally induced plaintiff not to perform under the contract.

Similarly, we find that admitted facts show the other third-party defendant disclosed confidential information protected by the parties’ mutual NDA.

Partial summary judgment granted.

Islet Sciences, Inc v. Brighthaven Ventures LLC (Lawyers Weekly No. 020-063-18, 14 pp.) (Gregory McGuire, J.) Gerald F. Meek for third-party plaintiff; James M. Hash and Simon Taylor for third-party defendants. 2018 NCBC 84


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