Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Palmer Steel Supplies Inc. v. BL Harbert International LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division

November 29, 2017

PALMER STEEL SUPPLIES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
BL HARBERT INTERNATIONAL LLC., et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          R. DAVID PROCTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the court on B.L. Harbert International, L.L.C.'s (“BLHI”) Motion for Default Judgment against AIM Fabricators, LLC (“AIM Fabricators”). (Doc. # 129). On November 16, 2017, the court reminded the parties to brief BLHI's Motion under Exhibit B to the court's Initial Order (Doc. # 58), which required any response to the Motion to be filed within ten (10) days. (Doc. # 130). Thus, any response to BLHI's Motion was due on or before November 27, 2017. No response to the Motion has been filed.

         1. Background

         BLHI was the prime contractor on an overseas construction project referred to as Project 832. (Doc. # 45 ¶¶ 5, 17). Harbert issued a purchase order to AIM Steel International, Inc. (“AIM Steel”) for a supply of structural steel for the project. (Doc. # 45 ¶ 6; Doc. # 129-1 ¶ 4)]. AIM Steel entered into a Master Services Agreement with AIM Fabricators. Under that agreement AIM Steel issued purchase orders for steel fabrication to Palmer Steel Supplies, Inc. (“Palmer”). (Doc. # 45 ¶ 11; Doc. # 129-1 ¶ 5).

         BLHI paid AIM Steel for the supplies BLHI received, but Palmer allegedly never received payment for the steel it supplied. (Doc. # 45; Doc. # 129-1 ¶¶ 5-6). Palmer filed this lawsuit against BLHI and AIM Steel. (Doc. # 45 ¶ 16; Doc. # 129-1 ¶ 7). BLHI filed cross-claims against both AIM Steel and AIM Fabricators (Doc. # 24; Doc. # 129-1 ¶ 8), which were subsequently amended (Doc. # 45). Service of BLHI's cross-claim against AIM Fabricators was acknowledged by AIM Fabricator's counsel. (Doc. # 34).

         BLHI, AIM Steel, and AIM Fabricators entered into a “Mediation and Interim Settlement Agreement” under which AIM Steel and AIM Fabricators agreed to pay lower-tier suppliers, and obtain releases of BLHI and its sureties from payment claims by lower-tier suppliers or defend and indemnify BLHI from such claims. (Doc. # 45 ¶ 28; Doc. # 129-1 ¶ 9]. Based on this agreement, AIM Fabricators was obligated to defend and indemnify BLHI and to hold BLHI harmless for payment claims brought by lower-tier suppliers, like Palmer. (Doc. # 45 ¶¶ 43-46; Doc. # 129-1 ¶ 11). Thus, if Palmer was entitled to payment, AIM Fabricators would be liable for amount of Palmer's judgment plus all attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses of litigation incurred by BLHI for defending against Palmer's claims. (Doc. # 45 ¶¶ 43-46; Doc. # 129-1 ¶¶ 11-12).

         To resolve Palmer's claims against it, BLHI paid Palmer $400, 000 for the steel Palmer provided to AIM Steel for the Project, but for which AIM Steel refused to pay Palmer. (Doc. # 129-1 ¶ 10). BLHI also incurred attorneys' fees, costs and expenses in the amount of $141, 130.11 in defending against Palmer's claims. (Doc. # 129-1 ¶ 12). Under the Mediation and Interim Settlement Agreement, AIM Fabricators is obligated to indemnify BLHI for the $400, 000 payment, and for BLHI's costs and expenses in defending against Palmer's claims. (Doc. 45 ¶¶ 28, 43-46; Doc. # 129-1 at 9-11).

         BLHI now seeks a Rule 55(b) default judgment against AIM Fabricators in the amount of the $400, 000 it paid to Palmer in settlement of Palmer's claims against it, together with its fees, costs, and expenses incurred in defending against those claims. (Doc. # 45, ¶¶ 43-46; Doc. # 129 at 5). For the reasons outlined below, BLHI's Motion (Doc. # 129) is due to be granted.

         II. Standard of Review

         Rule 55(b) states in relevant part:

(b) Entering a Default Judgment.
(1) By the Clerk. If the plaintiff's claim is for a sum certain or for a sum which can be made certain by computation, the clerk--on the plaintiff's request, with an affidavit showing the amount due--must enter judgment for that amount and costs against a defendant who has been defaulted for not appearing and who is neither a minor or incompetent person.
(2) By the Court. In all other cases, the party must apply to the court for a default judgment. A default judgment may be entered against a minor or incompetent person only if represented by a general guardian, conservator, or other like fiduciary who has appeared. If the party against whom a default judgment is sought has appeared personally or by a representative, that party or its representative must be served with written notice of the application at least 7 days before the hearing. The court may conduct hearings or ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.