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Q&R Associates, Inc. v. Unifi Technical Fabrics

October 3, 2006

Q&R ASSOCIATES, INC. PLAINTIFF
v.
UNIFI TECHNICAL FABRICS, LLC, ET AL. DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Barrett

OPINION AND ORDER OVERRULING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Defendants, Unifi Technical Fabrics, LLC (hereinafter "UTF") and Michael Mebane have moved for Summary Judgment (Doc. 26) on all counts of the Amended Complaint (Doc. 18).

Plaintiff, Q&R Associates, Inc. (hereinafter "Q&R") has moved for Partial Summary Judgment (Doc. 27) on its claims for fraudulent inducement, promissory estoppel and $95,000.00 that it claims to be undisputed contractually-required payments.

A. Choice of law

In general, a federal court adjudicating a diversity action must apply the choice of law rules of the forum state. Klaxon Co. v. Stentor Elec. Mfg. Co., 313 U.S. 487, 496 (1941); Miller v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co., 87 F.3d 822, 824 (6th Cir. 1996). Therefore, Ohio choice of law rules are applicable.

Ohio courts apply the interest-analysis tests set forth in the Restatement (Second) of the Law, Conflict of Laws to resolve conflict of laws issues. Miller, 87 F.3d at 824; see also Morgan v. Biro Mfg. Co., Inc., 474 N.E.2d 286, 289 (Ohio 1984). "The basis of an action-i.e., whether it is deemed to be a tort case or a contract case-determines which of the Restatement 's interest-analysis tests an Ohio court must apply." Miller, 87 F.3d at 824. Here, Plaintiff has brought both tort and contractual claims.

Section 188 governs in the absence of an effective choice of law by the parties. Section 188 provides that the local law of the state with the "most significant relationship" to the transaction and parties applies to determine the rights and duties of the parties to a contract. Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws § 188 (1971). To help aid in determining the state that has the most significant contacts, section 188 cites to principles listed in section 6 of the Restatement (Second) Conflict of Laws. See id. These principles include:

(a) the needs of the interstate and international systems,

(b) the relevant policies of the forum,

(c) the relevant policies of other interested states and the relative interests of those states in the determination of the particular issue,

(d) the protection of justified expectations,

(e) the basic policies underlying the field of law,

(f) certainty, predictability and uniformity of result, and

(g) ease in the determination and application of the law to be applied. Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws ยง 6. In helping to develop the principles of Section 6, Section 188 ...


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