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Banco Nacional De Mexico v. Societe Generale

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York
820 N.Y.S.2d 588 (2006)


Facts

As part of a construction contract, Alstom Power and Rosarito Power (Alstom-Rosarito) requested that Societe Generale (SG) (defendant) issue a letter of credit in favor of the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE). SG designated Banco Nacional De Mexico, S.A. (Banco Nacional) (plaintiff) as the confirming bank. Alstom-Rosarito and CFE agreed that the letter would be governed by the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP). The letter provided for governance by New York law and designated a New York court as the exclusive forum for disputes. Thereafter, CFE made a compliant presentment to Banco Nacional, and Banco Nacional notified SG of its intent to pay. SG informed Banco Nacional that Alstom-Rosarito was disputing CFE’s entitlement to payment. Alstom-Rosarito subsequently brought suit against CFE in Mexico, obtaining two orders to stay payment on the letter of credit. Banco Nacional argued that the dispute had no bearing on its obligation to pay on a letter of credit. Banco Nacional paid CFE and requested reimbursement from SG. SG refused to pay Banco Nacional, citing the Mexico orders. Banco Nacional filed suit against SG for reimbursement and moved for summary judgment. The motion court denied summary judgment, concluding that the doctrine of comity required the United States court to respect the Mexico court judgments. Banco Nacional appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Catterson, J.)

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