Securing Defense Summary Judgement for Client in $10 Million Commercial Dispute
Our Client's Challenge
Lightfoot’s client, one of the largest suppliers of water services in the world, sued a former customer for nonpayment. The customer then filed a counterclaim in federal court for $10 million, contending our client breached its contract for the operation of an industrial wastewater facility. The client turned to the Lightfoot team to defend it against the counterclaim.
Lightfoot and our client knew that the former customer had only filed its counterclaim because it owed a substantial balloon payment due at the end of the contract and that the customer had not actually suffered any damage. Therefore, the suit had no grounds, and our strategy was to have it dismissed as quickly as possible. We conducted substantial discovery— with the focus on developing facts to support key defenses — and then moved for summary judgment on those grounds.
The court agreed with us that the former customer had failed to comply with the contract’s notice of default provision and had voluntarily paid the sums it sought to recover. The court granted summary judgment for our client and dismissed the counterclaim with prejudice.