The firm won another significant victory when Judge Michael Rankin of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia dismissed, with prejudice, all causes of action brought against our client under a commercial lease relationship. The lawsuit alleged that our client, a leading Mid-Atlantic real estate developer, breached its contractual obligations and committed various fraudulent and tortious acts during the parties’ multiyear relationship. The ten-count complaint sought more than $20 million in damages, including personal liability against certain directors, in addition to injunctive relief.
In dismissing the complaint after hearing oral arguments in May 2018, Judge Rankin ended the lawsuit by fully endorsing our clients’ position, namely that (1) oral agreements for rights of first refusal in real estate transactions must contain definite terms to be enforced and are insufficient to sustain a fraud in the inducement claim, (2) fraud claims must be independent of breach of contract actions, (3) fraud allegations against corporate directors and officers must allege specifics actions by each individual defendant, and (4) a valid claim of fraud must include reliance damages.
The ultimate result here was a complete dismissal, with prejudice, of a long-running, high-stakes case.