Monday, January 26, 2009

contracts - right-to-cure clause - incurable breach

LJL Transportation v. Pilot Air Freight Corp. - Pa. Supreme Court - January 22, 2009

Held: A party’s conduct in breaching a francise agreement can may justify its immediate termination, even if the contract includes an express provision granting the breaching party the right to cure before the contract is terminated, when there is a material breach of the contract so serious it goes directly to the heart and essence of the contract, rendering the breach incurable.

The wrongful conduct consisted of plaintiff's admittedly dishonest, indefensible diversion of business to defendant's competitor.

The court looked to the law of other states, which had adopted the “Williston view,” which provides, “Unless a contract provision for termination for breach is in terms exclusive . . . it is a cumulative remedy and does not bar the ordinary remedy of termination for a breach which is material or which goes to the root of the matter or essence of the contract.” Williston, A Treatise on The Law of Contracts, § 842, 165 n.1 (3d. ed. 1962).

diability - examining physician opinion

Brownawell v. Commissioner - 3d Cir. - Dec. 9, 2008

The appellate court entered an outright reversal and directed the payment of benefits, because

- the decision to deny benefits was improperly based on a number of erroneous facts and discredits the opinions of two examining doctors (who clearly considered her to be disabled), improperly favoring the opinion of a non-examining psychologist, and

- because substantial evidence on a fully developed record indicates that Brownawell is disabled.