BabyAge.com, Inc. v. Weiss, No. 4576-CC (Del. Ch. Oct. 1, 2009), read opinion here.
This Chancery Court decision addressed two issues: (1) a motion for leave to amend a complaint; and (2) a motion to overturn the decision of a Special Master regarding advancement issues.
Court of Chancery Rule 15(d) permits a supplemental pleading to set forth new claims, with leave of Court, provided that the new claims relate to the original claims. The motion should be denied only if the plaintiff inexcusably delayed in making the request and the defendant is prejudiced as a result. The defendant bears the burden of proving inexcusable delay and resulting prejudice. In this case the new claim was for the advancement of legal fees incurred in pursuit of counterclaims. The original complaint made a claim for advancement of legal fees incurred in defending a declaratory judgment that was properly terminated. The new claim sufficiently related to the original claim and there was not a sufficient showing that prejudice would result from the amendment. The Court also reasoned that there was no need to engage in extensive new discovery.
Determination of Special Master
The Court made quick work of a request to reverse or overturn a determination by a Special Master about advancement of fees during May and June 2009. The Court denied that request and determined that the fees awarded by the Special Master should be paid immediately.