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DCHG Investments LLC v. IAC Greenville LLC

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division

February 23, 2017

DCHG INVESTMENTS, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
IAC GREENVILLE, LLC and INTERNATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE COMPONENTS GROUP NORTH AMERICA, INC. d/b/a IAC Group North America, INC., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING IN PART AND DISMISSING WITHOUT PREJUDICE IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          MARY GEIGER LEWIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This case centers around a commercial lease dispute. Much of the controversy between the parties concerns the condition and repair of the roof on the subject Facility (the Facility), which is the subject of the Lease (the Lease). Plaintiff DCHG Investments brings this action against Defendant IAC Greenville, LLC (Defendant IACBG) and International Automotive Components Group North America, Inc, doing business as IAC Group North America, Inc. (IACBNA), complaining of breach of contract and seeking to pierce Defendant IACBG's corporate veil.

         Defendants allege counterclaims against Plaintiff, including breach of contract, breach of contract accompanied by a fraudulent act, and negligence. They attempt to pierce Plaintiff's corporate veil. The Court has diversity jurisdiction over this matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

         Pending before the Court are Defendants' and Plaintiff's motions for partial summary judgment. Having considered the motions, the responses, the replies, the record, and the applicable law, the Court will deny in part and dismiss without prejudice in part Defendants' motion for partial summary judgment and deny Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment.

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         JPS Automotive, Inc. (JPS) entered into the Lease with Plaintiff commencing December 23, 2002, for the subject Facility. Thereafter, JPS and its parent, C&A, filed for bankruptcy (the bankruptcy). On October 11, 2007, IAC 199 Blackhawk Road, LLC (IACBB) received JPS's interest in the Lease as a result of the bankruptcy. IACBB subsequently merged with IACBG.

         IAC-G is a member-assigned LLC. IACBNA is the sole member and manager of IACBG.

         The pertinent portions of the Lease, for purposes of this lawsuit, provide:

4. USE OF PREMISES AS BUSINESS. [The Facility] shall be used and occupied by the Tenant for the purpose of warehousing and manufacturing. The Tenant shall, at its expense, comply with all sanitary laws, ordinances, protective covenants, and rules and orders of appropriate governmental authorities protecting the cleanliness, occupancy, and preservation of [the Facility] during the terms of the Lease. [The Facility] shall . . . not be used for any illegal purposes or in any manner to create a nuisance or trespass.
5. PRESENT CONDITION OF [THE FACILITY]. Tenant stipulates that it has examined [the Facility] and that it is, at the time of the Lease, in good order and repair, and in a safe, clean, and tenantable condition.
. . . .
9. MAINTENANCE OF PREMISES.
A. By Landlord: Landlord shall have no maintenance responsibilities whatsoever with regard to [the Facility], except as may be necessitated by the negligence or willful misconduct of Landlord, its agent(s), employee(s), contractor(s) or other tenant(s).y be necessitated by the negligence or wilful B. By Tenant: Tenant shall, at its sole expense, keep and maintain [the Facility] and appurtenances in good and sanitary condition and repair during the term of this Lease, including, without limitation, the exterior of [the Facility] (including the roof, walls, foundation, gutters, downspouts, doors and windows, and structural portions thereof), as well as the heating, gas, electrical, plumbing, and other similar units and systems within and serving [the Facility].
Tenant agrees to return [the Facility] in as good a condition and repair as when possession was first taken, normal wear and tear, and damage caused by casualty excepted.
10. ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONAL IMPROVEMENTS. Tenant shall make no material alterations to the building or make other material improvements to [the Facility], without the prior written consent of the Landlord, which such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld. All alterations, changes, and improvements built, constructed, or placed on [the Facility] by the Tenant, with the exception of personal property removable without damage to [the Facility], shall, unless otherwise provided by written agreement between the Landlord and ...

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