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Tag Archives: Unfair Trade Practices

Civil Practice – Attorneys’ Fees – Baseless Claims – Failure to Withdraw – Unfair Trade Practices – Labor & Employment – Severance Contract (access required)

McKinnon v. CV Industries Where plaintiff persisted in prosecuting his claims well after he should have realized they were baseless, he must pay some of the attorneys’ fees incurred by defendant after the entry of summary judgment.

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Intellectual Property – Trade Dress Infringement – Cookware – Unfair Trade Practices – Treble Damages (access required)

Belk Inc. v. Meyer Corp. Meyer, a manufacturer of “Anolon Advanced” cookware, wins its suit alleging trade dress infringement and violation of North Carolina unfair trade practices law against defendant Belk department store, which sold a private-label cookware that was “deceptively similar”; the 4th Circuit upholds a $1.26 million damage award for plaintiff.

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Tort/Negligence – Breach of Contract – Civil Practice – Statute of Limitations – Personal Jurisdiction – Corporate Subsidiary — Fraud – Unfair Trade Practices — Cemetery (access required)

Birtha v. Stonemor, North Carolina, LLC Plaintiffs allege that defendants misplaced their deceased loved ones’ headstones and/or remains. Plaintiffs have cited no authority to suggest that these alleged acts amount to a continually recurring violation as opposed to the continued ill effects from an original violation; therefore, the continuing wrong doctrine does not apply to toll the statute of limitations.

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Tort/Negligence – Malicious Prosecution – Unfair Trade Practices – Fire Insurance – Fraud Allegation – Noerr-Pennington (access required)

North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. v. Cully’s Motorcross Park, Inc. After defendants filed counterclaims in this declaratory judgment action, the plaintiff-insurer’s investigator called a police sergeant and gave the sergeant information that the insurance investigator had known for six months. The sergeant interviewed the person who had bought the insured property from defendants (as noted in the investigator’s file) and arrested defendant Volpe for obtaining property by false pretenses. The trial court did not err in determining that plaintiff initiated the proceedings against defendant Volpe.

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Real Property – Breach of Contract – Tort/Negligence – Fraud – Unfair Trade Practices – Hazardous Materials – Monitoring Wells (access required)

Metropolitan Group, Inc. v. Meridian Industries The defendant-seller covenanted that it had no “actual knowledge” of the presence or disposal of asbestos, fuel oil, or other hazardous or toxic substances on the land it was selling. The parties’ purchase agreement defines “actual knowledge” as “the current, actual conscious knowledge of the officers and employees of Meridian Dyed Yarn Group” as of the date of closing. Except as to asbestos, the plaintiff-buyer has failed to come forward with evidence that any of the seller’s officers or employees knew, on the date of closing, that such substances were present on the land.

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Tort/Negligence – Unfair Trade Practices – Malicious Prosecution – Obstruction of Justice – Champerty & Maintenance – Punitive Damages (access required)

Security Credit Corp. v. Mid/East Acceptance Corp. of N.C. Plaintiffs allege that, in support of a lawsuit brought against plaintiffs by a competitor, defendants lent money and provided free services to the competitor. Plaintiffs have failed to show how defendants’ alleged conduct falls within defendants’ regular business activities. Plaintiffs failed to allege that defendants’ actions were “in or affecting commerce”; consequently, plaintiffs failed to state a claim for unfair trade practices.

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Contract – Software Development – Nonpayment – Tort/Negligence – Fraud – Unfair Trade Practices (access required)

Emergys Corp. v. Consert, Inc. Holding: Where plaintiff’s tort claims focus on alleged misrepresentations made during the parties’ contract negotiations that induced plaintiff to enter into the parties’ agreement when it otherwise would not have done so, such allegations are distinct from a breach of contract action.

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Real Property – Adverse Possession – Boundary Line – Shared Use – Clothesline – Well Water Sale – Unfair Trade Practices – Not ‘In Commerce’ (access required)

Wright v. Oakley Even though the disputed area between the parties’ lots contained a clothesline erected by plaintiffs and a utility pole marked with plaintiffs’ address, plaintiffs did not erect the utility pole, and the parties both used the clothesline.

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Tort/Negligence – Conversion – Damages – Unfair Trade Practices – Branch Office Takeover (access required)

Knight’s Medical Corp. v. Pickett A brother hired his sister to start up a branch office – intended to be a franchise, eventually – of his durable medical equipment business. Years later, the brother fired the sister; despite a non-compete agreement, the sister started running her own durable medical equipment business from the branch office location. The brother’s evidence of what it cost to set up and run the branch office supported the trial court’s award of damages for the sister’s conversion of the branch office.

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Contract – Inter-Corporate Liability Doctrine – Car Dealership & Finance Company – Damages – Unfair Trade Practices – Treble Damages – Prejudgment Interest – Attorney’s Fees (access required)

Hanes v. Darar Where (1) defendant Darar was the owner and president of both corporate defendants; (2) both businesses shared officers, agents, business locations and phone numbers; and (3) the two corporations had a “complimentary” nature (a used car dealership and the company that financed customers’ purchases of the dealership’s cars), the trial court could apply the inter-corporate liability doctrine from W.G. Fountain v. West Lumber Company, 161 NC 35, 76 S.E.2d 533 (1912).

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