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Time Warner gets summary judgment in appeals court amid claims it forced Cableview to sign settlement agreement

Lawsuits

By Charmaine Little | Aug 25, 2018

Law money 07

A U.S. appeals court affirmed a summary judgment in favor of Time Warner Cable on an indemnity dispute against the company on August 23.

Circuit Judges Kevin Newsom, Elizabeth L. Branch, and R. Lanier Anderson wrote the opinion.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit backed the summary judgment ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Cableview Communications of Jacksonville, Inc. filed the appeal after the lower court’s decision in favor of Time Warner Cable Southeast, LLC, and Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership (Time Warner). Cableview first sued Time Warner in hopes of retrieving a $560,000 payment it made to the company amid an indemnity disagreement.

Cableview sold a majority of its assets and re-assigned them via a 2011 Installation Agreement with Time Warner to FTS USA, LLC/Unitek Global Services, Inc. 

Time Warner had to give written consent in order to complete the assignment of the agreement process. But Time Warner refused until its previous indemnity claim against Cableview was settled. Cableview then paid to resolve the issue. 

The payment was included in an Asset Purchase Agreement between Cableview and FTS. This gave Cableview the ability to pay Time Warner directly. Still, after the payment Cableview made claims that as Time Warner received the settlement, it was negligent, committed misrepresentation, and violated the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA). The lower court granted summary judgment for Time Warner after it realized Cableview paid Time Warner the amount willingly.

Now, Cableview has challenged the lower court’s decision and said the settlement agreement was irrelevant because it didn’t have enough definite terms. It also pointed out the agreement came as a result of pressure and force. It went on to argue that if the court determines the settlement is valid, that still doesn’t block its allegations against Time Warner.

 The appeals court disagreed. It said the settlement agreement does include enough definite terms. While Cableview said the agreement was ambiguous because the settlement was upped from $515,303.17 to $560,000, the appeals court determined the terms of the agreement were still very clear. Considering this, the appeals court said the rest of Cableview’s claims fall short.

Still, it went further to point out a jury couldn’t determine that Cableview made the payment under duress because Cableview couldn’t prove that Time Warner made threats against it or executed any other related actions. It added that even if Cableview was able to prove this, it wasn’t able to prove that Time Warner left it with no choice other than to pay the settlement.

The appeals court determined it was proper to affirm the lower court’s ummary judgement for Time Warner.

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