Pennsylvania: Defense Verdict in NRG Services & Supplies, Inc. v. Rare Rentals, LLC, CCP, Phila Cty

09/08/11

NRG Services & Supplies, Inc. v. Rare Rentals, LLC, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, April Term, 2009, No. 3773

Rawle & Henderson LLP obtained a defense verdict in a four-day commercial property damage case before a jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.  The lawsuit involved a plaintiff commercial entity’s claim that it incurred significant business property damage and loss of business income as a result of flooding that occurred at a commercial property owned by the defendant landlord and leased to a non-party commercial entity.  The case dealt with legal issues regarding contractual modifications of commercial leases as well as ancillary issues related to insurance coverage and proper allocation of commercial property and assets by and between related corporate entities. 

The plaintiff commercial entity claimed that by virtue of its conduct and course of dealing with the defendant commercial landlord, it constructively “stood in the shoes” of a non-operational, related corporate tenant under its explicit commercial lease agreement with the defendant.  More specifically, plaintiff claimed that the defendant landlord owed it various contractual and common law duties by virtue of the fact that defendant had accepted various payments drawn on the plaintiff’s business account in satisfaction of the rental obligations under the lease agreement with the non-operational entity.

On behalf of the defendant landlord, the firm successfully argued to the jury that the conduct and course of dealing between the defendant landlord and a non-party commercial tenant did not demonstrate that the parties intended to modify the terms of the lease agreement.  The jury did not accept that the defendant breached any duties owed to the plaintiff.