Fluor Enters. Inc. v. Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Sys. Ams. Inc.

In this dispute arising from the parties’ business contract, the court will strike the defendant’s demand for a jury.

The defendant doesn’t dispute that its jury-trial waivers in the parties’ agreement were knowing and voluntary. It contends that the jury-trial waivers can still apply to its defamation counterclaim because the statements at issue were wholly independent of the agreement and impugned the defendant’s business across a variety of unrelated projects. But the statements related to and arose from the defendant’s performance under the agreement. Simply because the plaintiff mentioned in the allegedly defamatory statement that other projects similarly fell short does not take the defamation counterclaim out of the scope of the jury trial waivers at issue here.

Because the counterclaim pertains to the defendant’s performance on the parties’ contract and the quality of its products, the litigation results from, arises out of, or relates to the contract or transactions that the contract contemplates. Thus, the jury waivers apply.

Motion to strike granted.

Fluor Enters. Inc. v. Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Sys. Ams. Inc., No. 3:17cv622, Apr. 16, 2019. EDVA at Richmond (Lauck).

Categories: Opinions, U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Virginia

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