Arch Insurance Company v. Centerplan Construction Co., LLC et al
ORDER denying 57 Motion to Dismiss for the reasons set forth in the attached ruling. Signed by Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on 11/08/2017. (Lee, E.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
ARCH INSURANCE COMPANY,
COMPANY, LLC, et al.
CIVIL CASE NUMBER:
November 8, 2017
RULING ON MOTION TO DISMISS [DKT. 57]
Defendants move to dismiss the case in its entirety on the basis of the firstto-file rule. Plaintiff has not yet filed its response.
In August 2016, Greenskies Renewable Energy, LLC (“Greenskies”); Michael
Silvestrini; Andrew Chester; Arthur S. Linares; and Luis A. Linares filed a complaint
against Arch in the District of New Jersey regarding an indemnity agreement
between the parties through which Arch demands $18,807,737.47. See Greenskies
Renewable Ener., LLC v. Arch Ins. Co., Case No. 2:16-cv-05243-SDW-LDW (D. N.J.).
This action commenced in November 2016. See [Dkt. 1 (Compl.)].1
Defendants reference Connecticut state court cases as well. In July 2016,
Centerplan and DoNo initiated (1) an action against the City in Centerplan Constr.
Co. LLC v. City of Hartford, Case No. X04 HHD-CV16-6069748-S; and (2) an action
against Connecticut Double Play, LLC d/b/a Hartford Yard Goats and Josh
Soloman, Centerplan Constr. Co. LLC v. Conn. Double Play, LLC, Case No. X07
These cases involve disputes over the contracts
associated with the construction of the Yard Goats stadium. Defendant does not,
however, move to dismiss on these grounds and does not provide a legal or factual
basis warranting dismissal. “Generally, as between state and federal courts, the
rule is that ‘the pendency of an action in the state court is no bar to proceedings
concerning the same matter in the Federal court having jurisdiction . . . .’” Colorado
River Water Conservation Dist. v. United States, 424 U.S. 800, 817 (1976).
Accordingly, the Court will not address the state court cases.
The Second Circuit, as a general matter, follows the first-to-file rule. See
Employers Ins. of Wausau v. Fox Entm’t Grp., Inc., 522 F.3d 271, 274-75 (2d Cir.
2008). This means that “where there are two competing lawsuits, the first suit
should have priority, absent the showing of balance of convenience . . . or . . .
special circumstances giving priority to the second.” Adam v. Jacobs, 950 F.2d 89,
92 (2d Cir. 1991). To determine whether the first-to-file rule applies, a court “must
ask the threshold question of ‘are the actions duplicative.’” Tucker v. Am. Int’l Grp.,
Inc., 728 F. Supp. 2d 114, 121 (D. Conn. 2010). Claims are duplicative when they
“arise from the same nucleus of fact.” Id. “A district court may stay or dismiss a
suit that is duplicative of another federal court suit as part of its general power to
administer its docket.” Henderson v. Williams, No. 3:12-cv-489 (VLB), 2013 WL
995624, at *3 (D. Conn. Mar. 13, 2013).
This action is not duplicative of the earlier filed District of New Jersey case.
The District of New Jersey action involves a dispute over the General Indemnity
Agreement (“GIA”) between Greenskies and Arch, upon which in 2012 Arch as
Surety issued bonds to Greenskies as Principal for $50,000.00. See [Dkt. 57-5 (Mot.
Dismiss Ex. C, Greenskies Am. Compl.) ¶ 1]. Centerplan is listed as an Indemnitor,
but not Principal, under the GIA. Id. ¶ 2. Arch now demands cash collateral in the
amount of $18,807,737.47 for “Centerplan’s own multi-million dollar construction
projects.” Id. ¶ 26. Centerplan is “an entity owned by one of Greenskies’ members,
but other [is] unrelated to Greenskies.” Id. ¶ 2. Although the basis for Arch’s
demand undoubtedly overlaps because the amount sought is identical to the
amount sought in this case, the contracts at issue are entirely different. As such,
the analysis of both cases’ underlying facts and the corresponding contracts will
be different for both courts.
Therefore, the Court DENIES Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Hon. Vanessa L. Bryant
United States District Judge
Dated at Hartford, Connecticut: November 8, 2017
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