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Resolute Management Inc. v. Transatlantic Reinsurance Company

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk

April 29, 2015

Resolute Management Inc . & another [1]
v.
Transatlantic Reinsurance Company & another. [2]

Argued: November 13, 2014.

Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on April 30, 2013.

A motion to dismiss was heard by Thomas P. Billings, J.

Bryce L. Friedman, of New York ( Kevin O'Connor with him) for the plaintiffs.

John N. Thomas, of New York ( Ben T. Clements with him) for the defendants.

Present: Green, Wolohojian, & Blake, JJ.

OPINION

Page 297

[29 N.E.3d 198] Green, J.

The plaintiffs appeal from a judgment of dismissal entered in Superior Court following the allowance of the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' complaint pursuant to Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), 365 Mass. 754 (1974).[3] The complaint asserted [29 N.E.3d 199] claims of tortious interference with contractual relations and violation of G. L. c. 93A. We conclude that the judge correctly dismissed the claims of Resolute Management Inc. (Resolute) for tortious interference with contractual relations as Resolute is not a party to the contracts at issue. However, we conclude that the allegations of the complaint do not establish as a matter of law that the plaintiffs cannot maintain a cause of action under G. L. c. 93A, or whether New York or Massachusetts law should apply to the claims of National Indemnity Company (National) for tortious interference with contractual relations. We accordingly reverse so much of the judgment as dismisses the plaintiffs' c. 93A claims and National's claims for tortious interference with contractual relations.

Background.

We summarize the facts alleged in the plaintiffs' complaint which, for purposes of our review of the defendants' motion to dismiss, we accept as true, construing all reasonable inferences from those facts in the plaintiffs' favor. See Iannacchino v. Ford Motor Co., 451 Mass. 623, 636, 888 N.E.2d 879 (2008).

National, a Nebraska corporation with a principal place of business in Nebraska, is an eligible surplus lines insurer and reinsurer in the Commonwealth whose business includes issuing reinsurance contracts and contracting to manage asbestos-related personal injury claims for Massachusetts-based insurers. National's business, in part, is to enter contracts with other insurers' clients, pursuant to which it (or Resolute, as National's agent) resolves claims against those other insurers and collects reinsurance.

In 2001, National entered into an administrative service agreement (ASA I) with two major insurers, pursuant to which National was appointed to adjust, handle, agree to, settle, pay, compromise, or repudiate certain asbestos-related claims on behalf of a number of Massachusetts-based insurers, and ...


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