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Alliance Industries Limited v. A-1 Specialized Services & Supplies, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

September 11, 2014

ALLIANCE INDUSTRIES LIMITED and ALLIANCE INDUSTRIES FZC,
v.
A-1 SPECIALIZED SERVICES & SUPPLIES, INC.

MEMORANDUM RE MOTION TO STRIKE AFIRMATIVE DEFENSES

MICHAEL M. BAYLSON, District Judge.

This case is a $70 million international dispute among three companies held by four family members, arising out of eleven leases for precious metals. Plaintiffs move to strike four of Defendant's affirmative defenses. (ECF 53).

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND & PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Alliance Industries Limited (Limited) and Alliance Industries FZC (FZC) are companies that buy, sell, market, and trade precious metals, and lend or lease their inventories of metals. A-1 Specialized Services & Supplies (A-1) also markets and sells commodity-grade precious metals, and processes salvage automotive catalytic converters. Limited alleges A-1 is in breach of eleven lease agreements for precious metals because it failed to return the leased metals to Limited and failed to pay interest owed under the lease agreements.

Defendant moved to dismiss Plaintiff's initial complaint, and first amended complaint. (ECF No. 16). Plaintiff moved for leave to amend its First Amended Complaint and added FCZ as a plaintiff. (ECF No. 19). This Court granted Plaintiff's motion to amend, and denied Defendant's motion to dismiss as moot. (ECF No. 24). Defendant moved to stay or dismiss Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint under 12(b)(7) for forum nonconveniens , which this Court denied. (ECF No. 32). Plaintiffs now file a motion to strike four of the ten affirmative defenses raised in Defendant's Amended Answer. (ECF No. 53).

II. THE PARTIES' ARGUMENTS

Plaintiffs contend Defendant has failed to provide a basis for four of their affirmative defenses:

Affirmative Defenses:

• 13 for setoff, waiver, estoppel, unclean hands, collateral estoppel and/or res judicata
• 15 substantial performance
• 16 laches
• 17 "Plaintiffs' claims are barred, in whole or in part, by representations made in sworn statements and/or pleadings in filed other actions."

Pl's Br. at 3.

Defendant responds that affirmative defenses under Rule 8(c) are only required to alert Plaintiffs to the defenses a defendant will assert, but not the factual basis for those defenses, unlike the Rule 8(a) standard. Further, Plaintiffs must show that an affirmative defense asserted could not succeed under any set of circumstances, and they cannot do this until discovery is completed. Finally, ...


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