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Hitachi Capital America Corp. v. D M S Healthcare Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

January 16, 2019

HITACHI CAPITAL AMERICA CORP
v.
D M S HEALTHCARE INC., ET AL.

          KAREN L. HAYES JUDGE

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Plaintiff Hitachi Capital America Corp. F/N/A Creekridge Capital LLC (“Hitachi”) [Doc. No. 2');">23]. Hitachi contends this is a straightforward collection matter in which it seeks to enforce the clear and unambiguous terms of the contracts at issue. Hitachi asserts that it is entitled as a matter of law to judgment against Defendants DMS Healthcare, Inc. (“DMS”) and John D. Jones (“Jones”) (collectively “Defendants”) for all amounts due as a result of Defendants' alleged defaults under the contracts. Defendants oppose the motion, contending that the contractual provisions are ambiguous as to when Defendants' obligation to make payments ceases.

         For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 2');">23] is GRANTED.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         This case centers on the claims of Hitachi seeking to enforce a Master Software Agreement (the “Agreement”) and related documents executed by DMS and its affiliates United Home Care, Inc. (“United”) and Trinity Home Health Care, Inc. (“Trinity”), and by Jones, as a guarantor, on April 2');">29, 2');">2015. The Agreement was part of a license/lease transaction whereby DMS, United, and Trinity were granted the right to use certain healthcare management software (the “Software”) as part of their home health care services.[1" name="FN1" id= "FN1">1] The Agreement set a term of sixty months (5 years) starting on the first day of the month following DMS's acceptance of all the Software. The current term of the Agreement runs through October of 2');">202');">20.

         United, Trinity, and DMS were “Users” under the Agreement. Hitachi was the “Provider.” Jones executed a personal guaranty (the “Guaranty”) of the obligations of DMS under the Agreement.

         The Agreement provided for 6 monthly rent payments of $5, 000.00 (plus applicable taxes), 6 monthly rent payments of $10, 000.00 (plus applicable taxes), and 48 monthly rent payments of $15, 033.00 (plus applicable taxes). The Agreement further provides that, if a default occurs, Hitachi is entitled to, among other things, require DMS to immediately pay all sums already due under the Agreement plus all other sums becoming due (including an acceleration of remaining payments). The nonpayment by DMS of any monthly payment within 10 days of its due date constitutes a default under the Agreement.

         On May 2');">2, 2');">2018, Hitachi filed this lawsuit, alleging that Defendants DMS, Trinity, and United had committed a default under the Agreement by failing to pay the monthly rent payments, interim rent payments and other charges due under the Agreement. Hitachi filed an Amended and Restated Complaint on July 5, 2');">2018, naming Jones as an additional Defendant.

         Hitachi alleges that the monthly payments due for February 2');">2018 and all months thereafter have not been paid. Hitachi contends that it is owed $572');">2, 913.36 under the terms of the Agreement, broken down as follows:

Past-due amounts (February 2');">2018 - December 2');">2018): $165, 363.00
Tax on past-due amounts: $18, 173.43 Late fees: $41, 340.75
Accelerated amounts (January 2');">2019 - October 2');">202');">20): $315, ...

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