Case Caption: Basic Services, Inc. v. Government of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2017-0084Date: 06/13/2019Author: Brady, Douglas A. Citation: 2019 VI 21Summary: In a case alleging breach of a contract to provide technological services for public schools, summary judgment for the Government is affirmed, but one of the grounds that the Superior Court relied on in its reasoning is rejected. Under V.I. R. CIV. P. 8(a), plaintiff’s pleadings were sufficient to assert a claim that the Government’s obligation of good faith under the contract required it to assist plaintiff in obtaining payment, encompassing all foreseeable obligations under the contract. Thus the Superior Court erred in finding this claim was not properly before it. On summary judgment, after the Government’s showing, the burden shifted to plaintiff to identify affirmative evidence upon which a reasonable jury could return a verdict in its favor. Since plaintiff failed to carry its burden in response to the Government’s motion under Rule 56 to identify facts rendering these issues disputed and triable, it was not error for the Superior Court to grant summary judgment in favor of the Government. Particularly with regard to the third and fourth elements of a contract claim—breach of the duty and damages—the affidavit relied upon by plaintiff was conclusory because it set forth conclusions that are unsupported by the record. Consequently, plaintiff had no right to summary judgment. The argument that it was error for the Superior Court to deny its motions to amend its complaint to add a claim for quantum meruit is without merit, since that claim would be futile because a contract existed between the parties, and plaintiff therefore could not recover on the equitable remedy of quantum meruit under governing case law. Thus there was no error in denying leave to amend. For the reasons stated, the judgment of the Superior Court entered upon its October 17, 2017 rulings on the cross-motions for summary judgment is affirmed.
Attachment: Open Document or Opinion