Boston Business & Commercial Law Blog
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There are many ways to resolve a legal dispute in business. One option in Massachusetts is to go through the litigation process and allow a judge to decide. On the other hand, a business owner may want to attempt to negotiate a settlement with another party in a business litigation dispute.
Macy’s Inc. was recently faced with a lawsuit filed against the company for alleged violations of racial-profiling laws. A well-known actor, Rob Brown, who stars in the television series “Treme,” filed the lawsuit against the retail chain after he was arrested while at a Macy’s location. However, the retail company was eventually able to come to a settlement with the plaintiff.
When a company that is a party to a business contract does not uphold its end of the bargain, it can cause financial problems for the other parties involved. This can come in the form of property damage or missed business opportunities. However, there are several options available for legal remedies for a breach of contract in Massachusetts or any other state.
Most of the time, a breach of contract dispute can be remedied through monetary reimbursements known as “compensatory damages.” These are payments meant to compensate for any losses suffered by a party to a contract that has been breached by another party. Another type of monetary reimbursement is known as “liquidation damages,” which are specified in the contract and agreed upon during negotiations of the contract.
A court case can take any number of paths during the litigation process. In some cases, a party to a lawsuit may attempt to move the litigation into another court’s jurisdiction for one reason or another. This is what one Native American tribe attempted to do in its long-running business litigation lawsuit involving plans for building a gambling facility in Massachusetts.
The dispute began in Dec. 2013 when the state of Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe following the initiation of tribe discussions regarding plans to change a community center, which has remained unfinished, to a facility for gambling. The facility’s plans include a high stakes electronic bingo facility as well as poker tables. The state is arguing that the tribe’s plans violate an agreement formed with the state government in 1983.
An employer generally has the right to terminate employment of a worker who is not performing up to standard. However, there are limits to an employer’s right to fire somebody in Massachusetts or in any other state. One woman recently accused her employer of crossing this limit when she filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination of employment.
The woman claims that her employer had fired her because she needed to take time off work to fulfill her jury duty obligations in August 2011. The woman was eventually fired in April 2012. She claims that her employer terminated her employment as a direct result of the woman missing work during her jury duty. The woman claimed that her former employer is in violation of the Jury System Improvement Act, which makes it illegal for an employer to terminate a worker due to jury duty.
Failing to follow through on a contract agreement with another business can cause significant financial damage. However, it may seem even worst if a company commits fraud while doing business with another company in Massachusetts or in any other state. This may have been what happened in a recent business litigation case involving several oilfield services companies.
Apache Corp. is filing several lawsuits against the owners of oilfield services firms as well as their workers. The lawsuits allege the oilfield companies committed fraud through schemes designed to overcharge on invoices billed to Apache Corp. Additionally, the lawsuits allege there were other fraudulent schemes perpetrated by the defendants. The plaintiff claims to have suffered more than $1 million in monetary damages as a result of the alleged fraud.
A business typically does its best to fulfill the wishes of customers, to not only provide great customer service but to also ensure the company fulfills the legal contract agreed upon between the customer and the business. However, there are times when a customer may feel the business has not fulfilled its end of the bargain. This seems to be the case in a recent breach of contract lawsuit filed against a funeral home in Massachusetts.
The lawsuit was filed by two families that found out that their loved one’s bodies may not have been handled properly by the company, Ryder Funeral Home. One of the decedents had died in early May while the other had died in mid-May. The two families became upset when they found that the cremation process had been stalled while under the supervision of the funeral home.
Usually, when the proper authorities have approved a building project for a new business, it means that the company can move forward with its plans without having to worry. However, there may be times when an entity or business within the community will object to the approved plans and decide to file a lawsuit to stop the plans for the new business project. This can happen in almost any jurisdiction, including the state of Massachusetts or any other state. One grocery company recently found itself facing this issue and is now dealing with a contested business matter in court.
The issue revolves around the planned construction of a ShopRite grocery store that had gained approval from the necessary authorities. However, another company, Stop & Shop, is attempting to stop the plans to construct the 62,042-square-foot grocery store. Stop & Shop filed a 19-count lawsuit in August 2013. The court will now have to make a decision on each individual issue.
The U.S. legal system is meant to protect the weak from being taken advantage of by the powerful. This legal protection also includes the workplace in Massachusetts. Most people are well aware of employment laws meant to protect workers from discrimination or wrongful termination of employment by employers. However, some employment laws also attempt to specifically protect the disabled as well.
One former employee of a professional football team had recently been forced to invoke these laws in a recent dispute with his former employer. The employee had been working as a talent scout for the team for about 17 years. He claims that he was wrongfully terminated from his position because his general manager disapproved of him being allowed to work from home. The former talent scout recently sent a letter stating his intention to move forward with litigation in court based upon the argument that the team had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Companies make many decisions based upon the faith that their business partners will fulfill certain agreements. However, when companies in Massachusetts and elsewhere decide to not fulfill agreements with their business partners, it can result in a contract dispute. This may have been what happened with a software developer who claims another company has breached a contract.
Medfusion, which specializes in software designed to keep healthcare records, has sued Allscripts. Along with breach of contract, the plaintiff company is also alleging unfair competition and fraud. The dispute revolves around a five-year contract which was entered into in 2009. Allscripts had agreed to only sell and market the patient portal provided by Medfusion; however, it seems that things may not have turned out this way.
Laws regulating business are aimed at maintaining a fair marketplace for all firms and companies. They are also designed to help maintain a healthy amount of competition in the marketplace. One important aspect of these laws is the rules regulating employment. However, many times other states outside of Massachusetts will have laws in place which are contradictory to the ones in place in Massachusetts and can result in a business litigation dispute.
This seems to have been the case in a recent legal dispute between two major technology firms. The dispute started in 2002 when EMC Corp. was able to recruit a young executive who was at the time working for Hewlett Packard. Then, in 2009, HP utilized the same recruiting tactic and successfully lured the head of EMC’s storage division to work for HP. This type of talent recruitment strategy is common throughout the technology industry.