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Penthouse International, Limited v. Dominion Federal Savings and Loan Association

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
855 F.2d 963 (1988)


Facts

Dominion Federal Savings and Loan Association (Dominion) (defendant) was one of several lenders that agreed to finance a hotel and casino being built by Penthouse International, Limited (Penthouse) (plaintiff) in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The loan commitment for all lenders was to expire on March 1, 1984. Penthouse was unable to meet various preclosing conditions (e.g., licensing from the casino-control commission, variances necessary for construction, public utility services). These preconditions remained outstanding a few weeks before the March 1 expiration date. Dominion expressed concerns about the ability to close and suggested that the construction-and-lending plan be overhauled. By mid-March 1984, the project had collapsed, and the lenders withdrew from the plan. Penthouse sued Dominion for damages, claiming that Dominion committed anticipatory breach of the agreement to participate in funding. Focusing on actions taken after the expiration date of March 1, 1984, the district court ruled that Dominion refused to proceed as agreed and, hence, committed an anticipatory breach. Dominion appealed, claiming that the district court erred by basing the decision on actions Dominion took after the loan-commitment expiration date.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Altimari, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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