Intertech Marine Limited v. Menendez (The “Nautica”)

In Ship Building and Repair on (Updated )

The Plaintiff and the Defendant entered into a series of agreements for the construction of a pleasure yacht by the Plaintiff for the Defendant. During the construction the parties also discussed the possibility of entering into an arrangement to use the yacht being built to promote sales of further yachts. In anticipation of this happening the Plaintiff said that it chose to forego billing various costs during the construction. The arrangement to sell further yachts never materialized and the Plaintiff provided the Defendant with a final billing of almost $250,000 which the Defendant refused to pay. This action was then brought by the Plaintiff who also arrested the yacht. The Defendant counter-claimed for costs relating to the wrongful arrest of the yacht. Upon reviewing the various agreements between the parties, the trial Judge noted that the final agreement contained a clause stipulating that the Plaintiff would complete the yacht for a fixed price. Although the Plaintiff’s evidence was that this clause had been inserted for the “Bank”, the trial Judge found the clause to be determinative. The Plaintiff also argued that it was entitled to the amount based on quantum meruit principles. The trial Judge held, however, that in order for the Plaintiff to recover on quantum meruit principles it was necessary that there be at least an agreement in place to the effect that the costs of Plaintiff would be recovered from the sale of sister yachts. She found as a fact that there was never any such agreement reached. In result, the Plaintiff’s claim was largely dismissed except for a few items that were legitimately “extras”. With respect to the counter-claim, the Judge dismissed the counter-claim as it was conceded that the arrest was not unlawful if even a small amount was awarded to the Plaintiff.