Lasa Per L’Industria Del Marmo Societa Per Azioni v. Alexander case brief
1969 U.S. Ct of Appeals
Posture: District ct decided that 3rd party complaints and two cross-claims were not of same transaction and were dismissed. Ct of Appeals reverses.
Facts: Controversy arose out of construction of Memphis, Tennessee City hall. Southern Builders was retained by City as principal contractor. SB performance was secured by bond with Continental Casualty as surety. SB subcontracted with Alexander Marble and Tile Co., a partnership of Tennessee residents and Marble International to supply and install marble in city hall. Alexander contracted with LASA to supply it with marble.
LASA alleges full performance of K and is owed 130,000 out of 500,000 contract price. Sued Alexander, Marble International, Southern Builders, Continental Casualty, and the City for balance.
Alexander files an answer and counterclaim, alleging that LASA breached K by not shopping marble on time plus other claims and that K price is only 270,000. Wants to be reimbursed overpaid amount it paid to LASA. SB filed answer and counterclaim, same claim as Alexander has against LASA. Alexander filed cross-claim against SB, CC, and City for money on K with SB. SB filed crossclaim against Alexander for breach of K.
Alexander also filed 3rd party claims against Aydelott and Associaties alleging that as architects, they negligently supervised project plus other claims. Alexander also sues SB for punitive and actual damages
Reasoning: Rights of all parties should be in one action. Rules 13 and 14 are construed liberally and are intended to expedite justice in an economical way. They give transaction and occurrence a broad meaning to avoid multiple suits. Use words “logical relationship” that this exists between the cross-claims and transaction. All of it relates to the same project. If it is confusing, District judge can authorize by rule 42(b) to order separate trials on any issues. This rule provides a practical solution.
Dissent: Thinks that the claims are completely different from the original plaintiff’s claim. Thought that one was breach of K while other is a tort claim. Alexander’s claim doesn’t arise out of subject matter and transaction of LASA’s suit.