Bank of America National Trust & Savings Association v. Hotel Rittenhouse Associates
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
800 F.2d 339 (1986)
FAB III (plaintiff) was a concrete contractor during the construction of the Hotel Rittenhouse. To finance the construction of the hotel, Bank of America (defendant) had contracted with Hotel Rittenhouse Associates and other developers (HRA) (defendants). Seeking to collect on a loan, the bank filed a foreclosure action against HRA in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the dispute was settled before trial. In anticipation of a need for court enforcement of the settlement terms, the settlement was filed with the court and, at the request of both parties, sealed by the court. FAB III did not intervene in the bank-HRA litigation, but FAB III accused the bank and HRA of conspiring to deny FAB III money owed for its work on the hotel. FAB III sued the bank, but not HRA, in state court seeking $800,000 in payment the bank had promised to pay FAB III for services rendered. FAB III then asked the district court to unseal the bank-HRA settlement agreement. The court denied the motion, stating that FAB III’s interest in accessing the document did not outweigh the public and private interests in favor of settling disputes. FAB III appealed the denial of its motion to unseal.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sloviter, J.)
Dissent (Garth, J.)
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