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New World Trading Co. Ltd. v. 2 Feet Productions, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

February 11, 2014

NEW WORLD TRADING CO. LTD., Plaintiff,
v.
2 FEET PRODUCTIONS, INC., Defendant. QUANZHOU HENGYU LIGHT INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CO., LTD., Plaintiff,
v.
2 FEET PRODUCTIONS, INC., Defendant.

Michael J. Calvey, Esq., Michael J. Calvey, LLC, North Bergen, NJ, for Plaintiff.

Kyle C. McGovern, Esq., Diane B. Cavanaugh, Esq., Lyons McGovern, LLP, White Plains, NY, for Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

New World Trading Co. Ltd. ("New World") brings this action against 2 Feet Productions, Inc. ("2 Feet") for breach of contract and fraud. On September 24, 2012, I granted defendant's motion to dismiss with respect to the fraud claim but not the breach of contract claim.[1] 2 Feet now moves for summary judgment on New World's breach of contract claim. 2 Feet argues that New World lacks standing to sue because it was never a direct party to the agreement. For the following reasons, 2 Feet's motion is denied.

II. BACKGROUND

New World is a Chinese company "in the business of having shoes manufactured by factories in China and selling these shoes to wholesalers abroad.[2] However, New World does not have an export license.[3] Instead, New World contracts with Uptop, a trading company with an export license, to facilitate its transactions with foreign wholesalers.[4]

In late 2009, Avshalomov of 2 Feet and Kim of New World visited several factories together "to determine which met the appropriate production standards."[5] As a result of these meetings, 2 Feet placed numerous shoe orders with New World on purchase order forms listing 2 Feet as the "customer" and New World as the "vendor."[6] 2 Feet made all deposits and payments to Uptop, which then paid the factories and New World for their services.[7]

New World now claims that 2 Feet failed to pay the full amount due on several shipments of shoes despite accepting the goods. According to New World, 2 Feet paid only $1, 918, 446.85 out of the total $2, 776, 909.20 owed, leaving a remainder of $835, 462.35.[8]

III. LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate "only where, construing all the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-movant and drawing all reasonable inferences in that party's favor, there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and... the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."[9] "A genuine dispute exists if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. A fact is material if it might affect the outcome of the suit."[10]

"The moving party bears the burden of establishing the absence of any genuine issue of material fact."[11] To defeat a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving party must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts, '"[12] and may not rely on conclusory allegations or unsubstantiated speculation.'"[13] In deciding a motion for summary judgment, "[t]he role of the court is not to resolve disputed issues of fact but to assess whether there are any factual issues to be tried."[14]

IV. APPLICABLE LAW[15]

Under New York law, the elements of a breach of contract claim are: "(1) the existence of an agreement, (2) adequate performance of the contract by the plaintiff, (3) breach of contract by the defendant, and (4) damages."[16] A claim for breach of contract must be supported by "evidence establsh[ing] that there was [a] meeting of the minds between the parties as to essential contract terms."[17] Generally, "one party cannot sue ...


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