Whittington v. Dragon Group, L.L.C., (Del. Ch., Sept. 30, 2008), read opinion here.  [The opinion refers to several prior Chancery Court decisions in this case for more factual background, one of which was summarized on this blog here.]

In this latest iteration of this long-running intra-family dispute, the Court denies a Motion for Summary Judgment, finding genuinely disputed issues of material fact in the following four categories that were discussed at length in this 22-page opinion:

1) The date when a cause of action for violation of a Settlement Agreement arose, such as to trigger the commencement of the limitations in Section 8106 of Title 8 of the Delaware Code (which provides for a 20-year statute of limitations for documents “under seal” as opposed to the conventional 3-year statute of limitations for other contracts);

2) Whether there were mitigating circumstances that would warrant tolling the statute of limitations based on equitable principles and the length of time, if any, for which the statute should be tolled;

3) Whether in view of the claims for injunctive relief and specific performance, the delay in filing this action was unreasonable (see  doctrine of laches); and

4) Whether the defendant suffered material prejudice due to the failure to file this action until July 2006. See generally footnote 18 for the Court’s reference to cases that support the general principle that summary judgment may be denied “when the record indicates a material fact is in dispute or if it seems desirable to inquire more thoroughly into the facts in order to clarify the application of law to the circumstances.”