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Navigant Consulting, Inc. v. Modernica, Inc.

Superior Court of Delaware

October 26, 2017

NAVIGANT CONSULTING, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
MODERNICA, INC., Defendant.

          Submitted: August 25, 2017

          Patrick Scanlon, Esquire and Darlene Wyatt Blythe, Esquire of Law Office of Patrick Scanlon, P.A., Milford, Delaware; attorneys for Plaintiff.

          Christos T. Adamopoulos, Esquire of Connolly Gallagher, LLP, Wilmington, Delaware and Victor K. Sapphire, Esquire of Gerard Fox Law, P.C., Los Angeles, California (of counsel); attorneys for Defendant.

         Upon Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.

         Denied.

          ORDER

          William L. Witham. Jr. Resident Judge

         Before the Court is Defendant Modernica, Inc.'s ("Modernica") Motion for Summary Judgment and Plaintiff Navigant Consulting, Inc.'s ("Navigant") Response in opposition. As an issue of fact remains, Modernica's motion is hereby denied.

         FACTS

         This lawsuit arises out of three separate agreements, whereby Navigant contracted with Modernica to provide consulting services to Modernica.

         Pursuant to the agreements, Navigant billed Modernica $248, 990.31 for Navigant's purported services performed from December 4, 2014, to May 27, 2015.

         From January 25, 2015, to September 22, 2015, Modernica paid Navigant $59, 666.34 for its services, leaving a balance of $189, 323.37 still due to Navigant.

         On October 19, 2015, Modernica tendered $ 100, 000 to Navigant. The amount was divided into three separate checks. Each check contained the following statement: "final accord and satisfaction." Navigant deposited the checks and has not returned the funds conferred to it.

         On July 7, 2016, Navigant filed its Complaint in this Court, seeking to recover the purportedly outstanding balance of $89, 323.37.

         THE PARTIES' CONTENTIONS

         Modernica contends that it was overcharged for Navigant's services. Modernica claims that it repeatedly inquired about the charges through email and telephone conversations, but Navigant failed to respond substantively to Modernica's concerns. Although Modernica did not provide a single email to support its allegations, it relies upon an email attached as Exhibit "I" to Navigant's Response to Modernica's Motion for Summary Judgment. The email provides in pertinent part: "If it is Modernica's position that they [sic] do not intend to pay the invoices, please state so." This language, according to Modernica, apparently shows that Navigant was aware of Modernica's dispute of the amount due before Modernica tendered the final payment checks. Therefore, Navigant's deposit of the checks labeled "final accord and satisfaction" allegedly extinguished the debt owed by Modernica.

         Navigant contends that Modernica never communicated its objections to Navigant. In support of this contention, Navigant provided email correspondence between the parties discussing further payment of amounts owed by Modernica. According to Navigant, even as late as October 9, 2015, Modernica promised further payments without mention of a dispute. In regards to the email included as Exhibit "I" in Navigant's Response, Navigant alleges that it sought clarification as to whether Modernica intended to make further payments to ...


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