Civil Procedure Keyed to Friedenthal
United States v. Heyward-Robinson Co
Plaintiff D’Agnostino Excavators, Inc. sued Defendant Heyward-Robinson Co. in federal court under the Miller Act (which names the United States as the party Plaintiff) for breach of contract involving a Navy job. Defendant counterclaimed for overpayments made on the Navy contract and another contract involving a private party (“the Stelma job”). Plaintiff filed a reply counterclaim against Defendant on the Stelma job to recover money due from Defendant on that job. Both the Navy job and the Stelma job were treated together in the lawsuit. Progress payments were to be made on both jobs in a lump sum. There was one insurance policy covering both jobs. Defendant had the right under the contract to withhold payment for both jobs if there were any damages suffered on either job. Plaintiff claimed that Defendant breached both contracts by not making progress payments and Defendant claimed Plaintiff breached both contracts by allowing its insurance to lapse. The jury found Defendant liable to Plaintiff for both jobs and judgment was rendered against Defendant’s surety for the Navy job. Defendant appealed the verdict arguing that the District Court did not have jurisdiction over the Stelma job counterclaims because the claims were permissive and not compulsory counterclaims.
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