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15-1333 - DIRECT ENTERPRISES, INC. et al v. SENSIENT COLORS LLC


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15-1333 - DIRECT ENTERPRISES, INC. et al v. SENSIENT COLORS LLC
July 13, 2017
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ORDER denying 124 Motion for Remedy for Plaintiffs' Loss of Evidence; denying 131 Motion for Leave to File Fourth Amended Complaint and denying 132 Motion for Remedies for Spoliation of Evidence, given the unavoidable prejudice to Spectra who bears no fault in the destruction of the colorant samples. Signed by Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker on 7/13/2017. (CBU)
August 3, 2017
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ORDER - Plaintiffs Direct Enterprises, Inc. ("DEI") and Olympus Seed Treatment Formulator, Inc. ("Olympus") (collectively "Plaintiffs") are companies that specialize in blending and selling treatment mixtures for seeds. Defendant and Third Party Plaintiff Sensient Colors LLC ("Sensient") sells colorants that are used as additives in seed treatment blends, and Defendant and Third Party Defendant Spectra Colorants, Inc. ("Spectra") manufactures colorants. This matter arises from a dispute among the parties regarding a batch of allegedly defective colorants that Plaintiffs purchased from Sensient. Plaintiffs filed suit in this Court, alleging various causes of action against Sensient and Spectra. Following their initial complaint, Plaintiffs filed several amended complaints over the next eighteen months, with the operative Third Amended Complaint filed in February 2017. [Filing No. 95.] Sensient and Spectra have filed Motions to Dismiss the Third Amended Complaint, arguing that Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. [Filing No. 96; Filing No. 100.] For the reasons below, the Court denies Sensient's Motion to Dismiss and grants Spectra's Motion to Dismiss. For the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES Sensient's Motion to Dismiss, [Filing No. 96], and GRANTS Spectra's Motion to Dismiss, [Filing No. 100]. (See Order). Signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on 8/3/2017. (APD)
September 27, 2017
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ORDER granting Third-Party Spectra Colorants, Inc's 191 Motion to Compel. Plaintiffs must supplement its Rule 26(a) disclosures with Walthall's confirmed address within 7 days. Spectra shall have 45 days from the receipt of the confirmed address to depose Walthall regarding damages. See Order for additional information. Signed by Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker on 9/27/2017. (SWM)
January 24, 2018
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ORDER - Plaintiffs Direct Enterprises, Inc. ("DEI") and Olympus Seed Treatment Formulator, Inc. ("Olympus") (collectively "Plaintiffs") are companies that specialize in blending and selling treatment mixtures for seeds. As is relevant here, Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff Sensient Colors LLC ("Sensient") sells colorants that are used as additives in seed treatment blends, and Defendant and Third-Party Defendant Spectra Colorants, Inc. ("Spectra") manufactures colorants. This matter arises primarily from a dispute among the parties regarding a batch of allegedly defective colorants manufactured by Spectra that Plaintiffs purchased from Sensient. Plaintiffs and Sensient have reached a settlement agreement, and the only issue remaining for the Court's resolution is Sensient's claim against Spectra for contractual duties of indemnification and defense. Sensient has moved for summary judgment on that claim, and for the reasons described in this Order, the Court denies that motion. The issue of defense indemnity is usually a matter of contract construction, proper for resolution on summary judgment. However the paucity of both evidence and developed argument in this case preclude resolution based on the instant motion. For the reasons described in this Order, the Court DENIES Sensient's Motion for Summary Judgment, 189, as to its third-party claim against Spectra. The Court requests that the magistrate judge conduct a status conference to determine the most efficient course to bring the case to final resolution. (SEE ORDER). Signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on 1/24/2018. (APD)
February 23, 2018
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ORDER - After Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff Sensient Colors, LLC ("Sensient") moved for summary judgment against Plaintiffs (Direct Enterprises, Inc. and Olympus Seed Treatment Formulator, Inc.) and Third-Party Defendant Spectra Colorants, Inc. ("Spectra") [Filing No. 189], Sensient reached settlement agreements with those parties regarding almost all of the claims raised in this matter, [Filing No. 253]. The Court recently issued an order addressing Sensient's summary judgment motion on the claims the Court understood as remaining at issue between Sensient and Spectra: whether Spectra owed Sensient any contractual duties of indemnification or defense. [See Filing No. 256 at 1-2 ("...the only issue that needs to be addressed by Filing No. 189 is whether Spectra Colorants is required to defend and indemnify Sensient Colors.").] The Court denied Sensient's Motion for Summary Judgment on those remaining claims, concluding that it could not determine whether such duties were owed, because Sensient did not prove the existence of the contract at issue as a matter of law. [Filing No. 256 at 7.] Presently pending before the Court is Sensient's Motion for Reconsideration. [Filing No. 258.] For the reasons described in this Order, the Court denies that Motion. The Court requests that the Magistrate Judge confer with the parties regarding a potential resolution of the last remaining issue--whether Spectra owes Sensient a duty to defend. (See Order). Signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on 2/23/2018. (APD)
April 23, 2018
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FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW PURSUANT TO FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 52 - Following the stipulated dismissal of many claims in this action, Third-Party Plaintiff Sensient Colors, LLC ("Sensient") and Third-Party Defendant Spectra Colorants, Inc. ("Spectra") seek to resolve the issue of whether Spectra owes Sensient a contractual duty to defend in the instant suit. The parties have agreed to resolve this claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(a), under which the action is tried on the facts to the Court without a jury. Fed. R. Civ. P. 52(a). The parties have submitted stipulated proposed findings of fact, [Filing No. 282], as well as their proposed conclusions of law, [Filing No. 283; Filing No. 284]. The claim is therefore ripe for the Court's resolution, and the Court sets forth below its findings of fact and conclusions of law. For the reasons described in this Order, the Court concludes that the allegations in Plaintiffs' complaint were sufficient to trigger Spectra's duty to defend under the terms of the applicable purchase order(s). The parties have indicated that they intend to file supplemental briefing regarding the issue of damages. Prior to briefing, the Court requests that the magistrate judge confer with the parties to determine whether the remaining issue can be resolved by agreement. If not, Sensient is ORDERED to submit its briefing regarding requested damages within fourteen days following the conference with the magistrate judge, and Spectra is ORDERED to file its response within fourteen days of the filing of Sensient's briefing. The parties' briefing is limited to fifteen pages each. No reply is needed unless requested by the Court. No partial final judgment shall issue at this time. (SEE ORDER). Signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on 4/23/2018.(APD)