Saturday, April 14, 2007

Semtek International v. Lockheed Martin (Balt. City Circuit Court, Bus. And Tech. Ct.)

Filed April 12, 2007—Opinion by Judge Albert J. Matricciani

Prior Proceedings:
Semtek sought to amend its complaint shortly before a trial in 2003 in order to add additional allegations and two new causes of action under Massachusetts law. The Court granted Lockheed’s motion to strike the amended complaint, with the modification that permitted Semtek to allege additional facts relating to intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, which was the single count before the Court for trial. At the close of Semtek's case, the Court granted Lockheed’s moved for judgment under Md. Rule 2-519. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed, but remanded to the Circuit Court to consider the two additional Massachusetts causes of action that Semtek had tried to insert in the stricken amended complaint. On remand, Semtek engaged new counsel and filed a second amended complaint, which Lockheed moved to strike or dismiss.

Memorandum Opinion:
The Court denied the motion to strike the second amended complaint but granted with prejudice the motion to dismiss it. The Court found that the factual allegations were expanded significantly in the second amended complaint but the causes of action were the same as those asserted by Semtek in its first amended complaint. Because those were the causes of action the Court of Special Appeals had directed the Court to consider on remand, it would not strike the second amended complaint.

The Court determined, however, that the Court of Special Appeals had already conclusively determined that Lockheed had not interfered with Semtek’s prospective economic advantage and had not engaged in other tortuous conduct that had been alleged. Applying those conclusions as the law of the case, the Court determined that even with the additional allegations of the second amended complaint, Semtek’s claims under the Massachusetts causes of action could not withstand a motion to dismiss or summary judgment. The Court dismissed the amended complaint with prejudice.

The opinion and order are available in PDF.

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