Supreme Court rejects $20 million decision
May 6, 2018
The Nevada Supreme Court overturned a $20 million dollar judgment regarding a Minden helicopter company and a Henderson investment firm.
The original case regarded a breach of contract.
Peggy and Jeffrey Cain, the owners of Heli Ops International, a helicopter company out of Minden, entered into a joint venture agreement with the business C4 Worldwide, Inc., from Henderson, who was described as focusing in "professional consulting and investment solutions throughout the world markets."
Heli Ops (Cain) agreed to lend C4 $1 million in order to obtain collateralized mortgage obligations for the company.
In return, the Cains would receive the first $20 million in profits from C4, and would retain a 49 percent security interest in the obligations.
The Cains upheld their loan, but C4 did not return any profits to them.
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The Cains entered into a settlement agreement with C4, in which they would release all claims, if C4 agreed to pay the Cains $20 million in no longer than 90 days. The Cains agreed to release C4 from any liability and would not sue the company, or its officers, for not initially paying the money, as was agreed upon.
C4 did not pay the money again by the date agreed upon in the settlement. The Cains sued C4, and six of its officers.
Two of C4's officers claimed the settlement agreement released them from liability, and moved for summary judgment, which is asking the court to rule that the other party has no case.
In Douglas County District Court, the summary judgment was granted to the two officers, ruling the settlement agreement was supported, and that the Cains and Heli Ops had bound themselves to the agreement's release provision.
They were also ordered to pay C4's officers nearly $96,000 in attorney's fees.
The Cains appealed the ruling, arguing that they weren't bound by the settlement agreement's release provision due to a lack of consideration from C4.
Consideration is the exchange of a promise or performance, agreed upon by the parties.
The Supreme Court found the summary judgment was improper. Though they decided the settlement agreement was valid, the Cains only agreed to release C4 from liability if they paid the $20 million on time. Since C4 didn't pay within the 90-day time period, the agreement was void.
The Supreme Court also reversed the order to pay C4 $96,000 in fees.
"We reverse the District Court's grant of summary judgment and remand this matter to the District Court for proceedings consistent with the opinion," the Supreme Court reported.