A recent Delaware Court of Chancery decision deserves a passing reference for its analysis of the statutorily-granted equitable jurisdiction to enforce the Delaware Stormwater Management Act. The opinion in Nieves v. Insight Building Co., LLC, C.A. No. 2019-0464-SG (Del. Ch. Aug. 4, 2020), begins with an entertaining history lesson about the Nanticoke Indians in southern Delaware and their participation in the Methodist Church during the 1800s. The introduction also features a reference to the book of Exodus and that biblical description of the seven plagues as resembling in some ways the allegations in the amended complaint of the infestation of homes with various insects due to water-related problems experienced at new homes in a housing development.
Three bullet points will, I hope, suffice for a high-level identification of the substantive legal issues addressed by the court in the event readers would find an opinion that analyzes these issues in a scholarly manner to be useful:
- The Delaware General Assembly, by statute, gave the Court of Chancery jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief when warranted to enforce the Delaware Stormwater Management Act.
- The Court delves into the doctrinal underpinning of fiduciary relationships and why they are not typically found between parties to commercial contracts. The Court explains why it did not impose those heightened duties on the developer of a housing community based on the facts presented.
- The often insurmountable threshold that must be overcome to successfully pierce the corporate veil in Delaware was explained in this decision, along with the reasons why the facts alleged did not satisfy the exacting requirements for such a claim. Those interested in this last issue should consider reading the book Professor Bainbridge, a friend of the blog and a nationally-recognized corporate law expert, co-authored on this topic.