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Judge Andrews grants plaintiff’s motion to voluntarily dismiss case without conditioning such dismissal on the payment of attorneys’ fees requested by defendant

In a recent case, plaintiff moved for voluntary dismissal shortly after the defendant filed its answer. Arunachalam v. Fulton Financial Corp., C.A. No. 13-1333-RGA (D. Del. May 28, 2014). Defendants refused to stipulate to dismissal, arguing that because plaintiff surrendered standing after the litigation was initiated, dismissal should be conditioned on payment of the fees defendant incurred in defending against the complaint. Id. at 1. Judge Andrews granted plaintiff’s motion without an award of fees. Judge Andrews noted that it did not approve of plaintiff’s conduct “in not dismissing the lawsuit once she surrendered standing to bring it” (id. at 1 n.1); but fees were not appropriate because dismissal was sought shortly after defendants answered the complaint, and the fees would likely have been incurred even if plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the suit when the patents were transferred in November 2013. Id. at 1-2. Moreover, a new lawsuit with a plaintiff who has standing had been filed and the expenses will not be “redundantly incurred” in the new suit. Id. at 2.

Arunachalam v. Fulton Financial Corp., C.A. No. 13-1333-RGA (D. Del. May 28, 2014)

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