Submitted: June 26, 2018
WBCMT, LLC's Motion to Dismiss. Granted.
S. Zavodnick, Esquire, Zavodnick, Zavodnick, and Lasky, LLC,
Attorney for Plaintiff.
Matthew G. Summers, Esquire, Ballard Spahr LLP, Attorney for
B. Cole, Esquire, Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman &
Goggin, Attorney for Defendants Read's, LLC and The
Commonwealth Group, LLC.
L. Scott, Jr. Judge.
common law holds individuals in occupation and control of
land liable for harm caused to invitees by known dangers upon
the property. Plaintiff was injured on a commercial property
that was in foreclosure where a receiver pendente
lite had been appointed by the Court of Chancery for the
benefit of the lender.
WBCMT was the mortgage holder of the commercial property
located at 11, 13, & 15 Reads Way prior to December 2013
when it filed a complaint in Scire Facias Sur
Mortgage against co-Defendant to the immediate action, Reads,
LLC (Reads). In July 2015, prior to a final judgment in the
mortgage action WBCMT filed a complaint for appointment of a
Receiver Pendente Lite against Read's in the Court of
Chancery. The Court of Chancery granted WBCMT and Read's
stipulated and proposed order for the appointment of a
receiver on December 17, 2015.
January 8, 2016 Plaintiff was allegedly injured when an
aerosol can ejected from a wall mounted aerosol dispenser in
the women's restroom of the property known as 11 Reads
Way. Plaintiff filed this action against the various
defendants in December 2017.
Read's, LLC and The Commonwealth Group, LLC's cross
claimed for contribution and/or indemnification from the
other named Defendants. Defendant WBCMT filed this motion to
dismiss on March 8, 2018. Defendants Read's and The
Commonwealth Group oppose the motion.
argues several theories that they argue prevent a finding of
liability on their part. WBCMT argues they did not own,
possess, manage, or operate the property, and the "for
the benefit of the lender" language in the Order does
not impose liability for the receiver's actions. WBCMT
states any interpretation of the Receivership Order falls
within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery.
Additionally, WBCMT asserts they cannot be sued as the entity
has been wrapped up and no longer exists and that there was
no contractual relationship between the receiver and WBCMT at
the time of the incident that would impose liability.
argues dismissal is premature and further discovery is needed
to determine the level of possession and control WBCMT
exerted over the property in question. Commonwealth states
the Receivership Order grants some possession and control to
WBCMT while displacing Commonwealth from that distinction.
Next, Commonwealth states the Delaware LLC Act permits a
dissolved LLC to be held liable when obligations are known to
the LLC at the time of dissolution. ...