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'May' Weakens Authority Of Forum Selection

Sunday, April 01, 2012 02:16 am


Forum Selection Clause

Bluetarp Financial, Inc. v. Matrix Construction Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. Lexis 22199 (D. Me. Feb. 22, 2012)

A South Carolina contractor working on a South Carolina construction project, and doing business with a South Carolina supplier, found itself in Maine court thanks to a dispute with a credit company over unpaid-for supplies.

Contractor Matrix Construction Company (Matrix) sought to dismiss a case pursued against it in federal district court in Maine by BlueTarp Financial, Inc. (BlueTarp). BlueTarp had extended a line of credit to Matrix while it performed on three school construction projects. Matrix is a South Carolina corporation, and the school projects were located in South Carolina. BlueTarp claimed, unsuccessfully, that its agreement with Matrix, which made the contractor subject to Maine state courts, also extended to Maine federal court.

Matrix's supplier, Contract Supply LLC (Contract Supply)--also a South Carolina company--had insisted Matrix complete a commercial credit application with BlueTarp even though, Matrix claimed, it never intended to purchase any building supplies on credit. Instead, Matrix paid Contract Supply directly by check. However, Contract Supply apparently forwarded these payments to BlueTarp. When Matrix learned that Contract Supply had not paid its suppliers for materials purchased by Matrix, Matrix stopped paying Contract Supply. BlueTarp's collections department subsequently demanded payment of $118,000 from Matrix for purchases outstanding. When Matr [...]

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