Boston Business & Commercial Law Blog
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When doing business with individuals and other entities, companies are required to honor their legal agreements formed with other parties. If a company does not do this, it can find itself in the middle of a breach of contract lawsuit in Massachusetts or in any other state. This seems to be what happened recently to one stem cell preservation company.
The company, Cryo-Cell International Inc., has recently settled a lawsuit surrounding a business deal that was formed about two decades ago. The lawsuit was filed by a couple in May 2011 because the company allegedly failed to fulfill its part of a contract which called for the couple to share revenue from the company's stem cell storage business. The agreement, first formed back in 1995, was subsequently modified several times.
Many times, a truly original idea is all that is needed to make a new company successful. On the other hand, it often takes more than one person to create a successful company, even with a new innovative product. Sometimes, in the event that such a company becomes lucrative, there may be some legal issues regarding ownership of an enterprise like this in Massachusetts or in any other state. This is what is happening with one business litigation case involving a new technology start-up company, Snapchat.
The company has recently become one of the most popular new start-ups, but is also embroiled in a three-way legal battle over the ownership split. The three individuals involved in the lawsuit were once schoolmates and were a part of the same fraternity in college. Now, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, the three are litigating in court.
Many have been pleased with the recovery seen after the recent recession. Lawmakers and government agencies are keen to do what they can to continue fostering the recovery through economic growth in the various business sectors. Start-up companies are an important part of this economic recovery, however, many times business litigation lawsuits that many people are characterizing as patent trolling can be a significant hamper on a new company's growth and ultimately its ability to contribute to the economic recovery. The Attorney General in Massachusetts is currently exploring legal options to help combat this problem.
Patent trolling is usually practiced by legal shell companies that do not produce or invent any products. Instead, the sole purpose of this type of company is to acquire patents which they use to file lawsuits against technology businesses for alleged patent infringement and unpaid licensing fees. The shell companies do this in order to obtain settlements for large amounts of monetary reimbursement. The companies who are victims of these frivolous lawsuits incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs related to litigation or settling the lawsuits.
Lawmakers create laws that they believe benefit the economy. This means regulating certain business activities as well as making decisions based upon specific economic outputs. However, sometimes when one company decides to break these laws, it can hurt other businesses in a variety of different industries. Many times this will result in a business litigation lawsuit in Massachusetts or in any other state.
American International Group is currently being accused of doing this in recently filed class action lawsuits against them. The lawsuits allege that the company had violated federal racketeering laws, which in turn had caused monetary losses for the companies initiating the lawsuits. The allegations claim that AIG had purposely misreported workers' compensation premiums it had collected during a period of more than four decades.
Many times in large business transactions the terms of an agreement between the parties can be somewhat more complicated than transactions between individuals or smaller businesses. This can result in an increased risk of a breach of contract in many cases in Massachusetts and other states. In larger business transactions this can be a serious problem since there is usually more at risk with larger business agreements. Two financial institutions found themselves in this type of a contract dispute which was recently decided in court.
An appeals court recently reached a decision in a breach of contract action initiated by Black Diamond Capital Management LLC against Barclays Plc. The plaintiff was asking the court to order Barclays to pay more than $300 million which Black Diamond claimed it is owed according to the terms of a derivative agreement between the two companies. The agreement between the two companies was formed in May 2005.
There are always at least two sides to each story. This is true for most legal disputes, which is the reason why both sides of a lawsuit have a right to have their sides heard in a court of law in Massachusetts or in any other state. In an employment dispute, a company that is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by a worker will have the right to defend itself in court. One sandwich shop operator has recently responded to a wrongful termination of employment lawsuit by denying all allegations against the company.
The complaint filed against the company alleges that a supervisor fired the plaintiff after he allegedly made illegal cash payments to workers. The former employee claims that the defendant company was paying workers cash for working overtime in order to avoid having to pay taxes for those wages paid. The plaintiff claims he made the report regarding the illegal cash payments in July 2012.
Local governments have an incentive to do what they can to stimulate the local economy. Many times this means providing monetary incentives through government grants designed to help create infrastructure in Massachusetts or in any other state. However, even after a local government grants incentive funds for development, this can potentially be challenged by various parties in business litigation attempting to prevent the government funds from being used for the project.
This is what is currently happening with one hotel project after being granted $81.4 million in monetary incentives to build its new hotel location. A group of competing hotels have filed a lawsuit against the hotel developer arguing that the court should reconsider the funds originally granted for construction of the hotel. The plaintiffs argue that because the city had decided to change developers contracted to complete the project, the project was substantially changed.
Intellectual property laws allow individuals with original ideas and designs to profit from their creativity. However, the law surrounding copyright is not as straightforward as many may believe. Many times the advent of new technology has created legal disputes surrounding what is considered protected by copyright laws. One recent business litigation case in Boston, Massachusetts recently addressed this issue.
The lawsuit involved Aereo, a new company which was created three years ago, and Hearst Television, a television broadcasting company. Aereo provides television broadcasts to its customers' electronic devices for a low fee of eight dollars per month. Hearst was seeking an injunction against Aereo from continuing to provide this service to its customers, arguing that Aereo was infringing on the television broadcaster's copyrighted material.
Most companies rely on legal contracts for a variety of aspects of doing business. Many times a company will make plans and arrangements while relying on the assumption that another party to a contract will follow through on the terms agreed upon. However, in some cases the other party does not follow through on its end of the bargain, which could cause a contract dispute in Massachusetts or any other state. This seems to be what had happened recently between an architecture firm and a city's urban redevelopment agency.
The architecture firm filed a lawsuit against the redevelopment agency in early October and alleged that the defendant had breached a contract for the firm to design a city parking garage. The plaintiff claims that the two parties entered into a contract in April 2002, which was then amended in June 2004. The firm was to allegedly receive $341,000 for the project.
The law provides disabled people with specific protections in order to prevent them from being abused or taken advantage of. This is important in all aspects of society in which disabled people participate in. However, this is especially important in the workplace, which is why it is illegal in Massachusetts and other states to terminate an employee based upon his or her disability. Unfortunately, one woman believes this is what had happened to her, which prompted her to file a wrongful termination of employment lawsuit against her former employer.
The conflict began after medical professionals diagnosed the woman with Temporomandibular disorder in summer 2012. In mid-Aug. 2012 the woman took medical leave in order to undergo surgery. The woman eventually returned to work in early Oct. 2012. However, medical professionals only allowed her to work with a limit on her number of working hours as well as limitations on how much speaking she is able to do. However, the woman was eventually terminated in early Dec. 2012 for absenteeism and tardiness.