North Carolina Business Litigation Report

Crowder Construction Co. v. City of Charlotte, March 11, 2009 (Diaz)(unpublished)

North Carolina does not recognize the "cardinal change doctrine" in government contract cases.

The Court also dismissed a claim for tortious interference with contract against a consultant who had advised the owner not to pay the Plaintiff for its work on a construction project.  The Court found the alleged interference to be justified, even though the Plaintiff alleged it was not. Judge Diaz ruled that Plaintiff's allegation as to the lack of justification was "a legal conclusion the Court need not accept," and that Plaintiff's allegations on this point were self-defeating.  

The Court determined that the consultant had a proper motive -- the performance of its own duties under its own contract with the owner -- in how it had dealt with the Plaintiff.  Thus, the Court concluded, the consultant's actions were "reasonably related to the protection of a legitimate business interest."

Full Opinion

Brief in Support of Motion to Dismiss (Cardinal Change Issue)

Brief in Support of Motion to Dismiss (Tortious Interference Issue)

Brief in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss (Tortious Interference Issue)

Reply Brief in Support of Motion to Dismiss (Cardinal Change Issue)

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Mack Sperling
Brooks Pierce, LLP
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