United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING THE "BOYDS'" MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND; GRANTING THE "RACETTES'"
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND: AND GRANTING THE "BECHTHOLDS'" MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
JEFFREY T. MILLER, District Judge.
Defendants and third party plaintiffs The Boyd Family Trust, Brent L. Boyd, and Nancy K. Boyd (collectively the "Boyds") move for leave to file a Third Party Complaint. (Ct. Dkt. 54). Defendants, counter-claimants, cross-claimants, and third party plaintiffs Richard Racette and Kathleen Sue Racette (collectively the "Racettes") also move for leave to file an amended counter-claim, cross-claim and third party complaint. (Ct. Dkt. 57). Defendants, counter-claimants, cross-complainants, and cross-defendants G.I. Bechthold Corporation, Donna Bechthold and Glenn Bechthold (collectively the "Bechtholds") also move for leave to file an amended counter-claim, cross-claim, and third party complaint. (Ct. Dkt. 53). Plaintiff Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America ("Travelers") does not oppose the Boyds' or the Racettes' motions but does oppose the Bechtholds' motion. Pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(d)(1), the court finds the matters presented appropriate for decision without oral argument. The court grants the Boyds' and Racettes' motions to amend based upon Travelers' non-opposition to the motions and for the reasons set forth in the court's September 2, 2014 Order Granting in Part and Denying in part Motions to Dismiss and Granting Leave to Amend ("Order"). (Ct. Dkt. 56). For reasons set forth below, the court grants the Bechtholds' motion for leave to amend. The parties shall file the amended pleadings within 15 days of entry of this order.
On December 10, 2013, Travelers commenced this diversity action alleging five claims for relief: (1) Statutory Indemnity, (2) Breach of Contract, (3) Quia Timet, (4) Declaratory Relief; and (5) Specific Performance. On October 3, 2001, Defendants RJL and the Boyds executed an indemnity agreement promising Travelers "to exonerate, indemnify and save [Travelers] harmless from and against every claim, loss, damage, demand" arising from the execution of certain construction bonds issued on behalf of Lanthier as the bond principal (the "RJL Bonds"). (Compl. ¶16). On March 1, 2010, Defendants RJL, the Boyds, and the Racettes executed the General Agreement of Indemnity ("GAI") at issue. Under the GAI, Defendants are obligated to "exonerate, indemnify, and save [Travelers] from and against all Loss." (Compl. ¶17, Exh. B). Also, on or about March 1, 2010, Defendants Bechthold Corporation, Donna Bechthold, and Glenn Bechthold (collectively the "Bechtholds") executed a General Agreement of Indemnity Additional Indemnitor Rider ("GAIR"). The GAIR also provided that the Bechtholds would "exonerate, indemnify, and save [Travelers] from and against all Loss." (Compl. 18, Exh. B). At the heart of Travelers' complaint is the allegation that, following RJL's default on the bonded projects, it paid about $6, 751, 915.58 on its surety obligations. (Compl. ¶21).
On November 21, 2013, Travelers sent a demand letter to the Defendants seeking $6, 751, 915.58 to recover Travelers' anticipated losses on the RJL Bonds. Defendants "have failed to comply with Travelers' demands." (Compl. ¶23).
Racettes' Counter and Cross Claims
On March 5, 2014, the Racettes filed an answer and counter-claim against Travelers. (Ct. Dkts. 14, 15). The answer generally denies the complaint's allegations. In their counter-claim, the Racettes allege that in early 2013, RJL experienced cash-flow problems and needed additional financing to help the company cover overhead expenses such as payroll. (Counter-claim "CC" ¶16). On January 17, 2013, Richard Racette, a 2% owner of RJL, and Brent Boyd met with Travelers and discussed the possibility of Travelers providing RJL with cash flow assistance. After several conversations with Travelers, the Racettes allege Travelers indicated a willingness to provide financial assistance and required 50% collateral for any loan. (CC ¶22). The parties discussed financial assistance in the range of $750, 000 to $1, 00, 000.
On February 15, 2013, Brent Boyd believed that Travelers was willing to reduce the collateral requirements and provide RJL with overhead assistance. On February 19, 2013, Travelers "informed RJL that it required a minimum of $500, 000 collateral to provide overhead assistance on bonded projects only." (CC ¶24). The Racettes allege that "had Travelers been more upfront in its collateral requests, RJL and Counter-Claimants would have been able to refocus its efforts into seeking alternative sources of funding, keep the projects going and the bonding intact." (CC ¶26). Thereafter, Travelers allegedly refused to issue bonds on new projects or to issue bonds on future projects without RJL providing additional capital or a substantial security deposit.
The Racettes allege that "[w]ithout the capability to obtain bonds on future projects, RJL was unable to obtain and complete work" on existing projects, thereby defaulting on existing projects. (CC ¶27). After RJL defaulted on the bonded projects, on November 29, 2013, Travelers demanded payment in the amount of $6, 751, 915.58. At some unidentified point in time, Travelers cancelled three issued bonds. Id.
Based upon the above generally described conduct, the Racettes allege four counter-claims for (1) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (2) breach of contract; (3) negligent misrepresentation; and (4) contribution against all cross-defendants. The court notes that the only cross-defendants identified in the CC are the Bechtholds.
RJL and the Boyds' Counter and Cross-Claims
On March 7, 2014, RJL and the Boyds filed an answer to the complaint, a counter-claim against Travelers, and a cross-claim against the Bechtholds. RJL and the Boyds assert the same counter-claims against Travelers as the Racettes, in addition to a declaratory relief claim based upon the same general allegations as the Racettes. ...