ATLANTA — A federal appeals court has affirmed a lower court's decision to award a paint manufacturer based in the Dominican Republic the right to recover money from an American company.

In the case of Multiquimica Dominicana S.A. v. Chemo International Inc., judges Julie Carnes Rosenbaum and Jill Pryor of the the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the ruling of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Multiquimica manufactures paint resins and emulsions in the Dominican Republic. Chemo used purchase orders to buy raw materials from Multiquimica. Chemo also “...acted as a distributor for Multiquimica. Chemo acquired customers to purchase Multiquimica’s products and for each of its sales on behalf of Multiquimica, Chemo earned a commission,” according to the court's Sept. 1 decision.

The two companies started doing business in 1995 and ended their business relationship in 2010.

Claiming that Chemo owed it $403,786.80 for unpaid goods, Multiquimica filed a lawsuit against the company in 2013. Chemo, however, claimed that Multiquimica owed it commissions from the period of 2005 until 2010. 

“Accordingly, Chemo sought to offset the amount owed it in commissions against the $403,786.80 Multiquimica claimed it was due,” the appellate court said in the decision.

At trial, Multiquimica claimed that because Chemo cashed the commission checks, it waived its rights to an offset. The district court ruled that Chemo owed Multiquimica $403,786.80 for unpaid goods. However, the court also found that Multiquimicai owed Chemo $284,495 in unpaid commissions. However, because Chemo had accepted the underpaid commission checks, it was not entitled to recover any underpaid commissions.

Chemo appealed the court's decision on the underpaid commissions. The appellate court, however, affirmed the lower court’s ruling, noting that the court does "not suggest that Chemo was required to object contemporaneously to the underpayments to avoid a finding of waiver, but we find no error in the district court’s determination that waiver occurred where two to four years had elapsed before Chemo voiced its objection.”

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