Case Caption: United Corporation v. Tutu Park Limited et al.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No.: 2010-0083Date: 09/07/2011Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In a suit seeking damages for breach of contract arising from lease of space in a shopping mall, in which it was alleged that the lessor-defendant had granted the plaintiff exclusive rights to operate a supermarket at the mall, the entry of summary judgment for the defendant and dismissal of the action with prejudice was erroneous because neither party disputed in summary judgment motions that a contract provision precluded a national retailer from operating another supermarket in the mall. To the extent it could reach the issue, the Superior Court's holding was based on a misinterpretation of the plain text of the contract provisions which, as established by the undisputed extrinsic evidence, imposed a duty on the defendant to enforce the terms of its agreement with the national retailer on plaintiff's behalf, by ensuring that the national retailer did not operate a supermarket. It was also error to find at the summary judgment stage that the national retailer does not operate a "supermarket" because, in the context of the agreement provisions, that term is ambiguous. The Opinion and Order are reversed, plaintiff's complaint is reinstated, and the matter is remanded to the Superior Court.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion