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End Line Investors Ltd. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, Southern District of New York
2018 WL 3231649 (2018)


Facts

A law firm and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (defendant) discussed having the firm handle consumer-debt collections for Wells Fargo in New York and New Jersey. The firm claimed that Wells Fargo promised to give the firm all of Wells Fargo’s New Jersey current and future collection accounts if the firm would upgrade its New Jersey office to meet audit standards. The firm upgraded its office, and the parties signed Wells Fargo’s standard-form retainer agreement. This retainer agreement set out many terms about the parties’ mutual obligations to each other, but it did not say that Wells Fargo agreed to give the firm all its current and future New Jersey collection work. The agreement did contain an integration or merger clause stating that the agreement embodied the parties’ entire understanding on the subject matter and superseded any prior understandings on the subject matter. Wells Fargo then gave the firm some of its New Jersey collection work, but not all of it. The firm claimed that this breached the parties’ agreement. End Line Investors Ltd. (plaintiff) ended up owning the firm’s claims against Wells Fargo and sued to enforce the alleged promise under several, alternate theories.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gardephe, J.)

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