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Interdesco V. Nullifire Notes

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INTERDESCO V. NULLIFIRE FACTS Interdesco was the manufacturer of intumescent paint. Such paint has special fire protection properties. When heated it expands to form a protective meringue over the painted surface. Distribution agreement by Interdesco to Nullifire: Interdesco concluded a five year distribution agreement with Nullifire under which Nullifire was given exclusive distribution rights in the U.K. and Ireland for Interdesco's paints. Nullifire terminated the agreement. It claimed that Interdesco's S60 failed to satisfy the U.K. standard for 60 minute paint and was therefore unmarketable. This Interdesco denied, contending in its turn that Nullifire was acting pursuant to a carefully prepared plot, in breach of its contractual duty, to replace Interdesco and steal its market. Proceedings in France: Both parties commenced proceedings before the Tribunal de Commerce de Paris. A crucial issue in respect of Interdesco's claim for damages for wrongful termination of the distribution agreement was, at least initially, whether or not the S60 paint produced by Interdesco satisfied the contractual standard. The court did, indeed, appoint an expert for this purpose---Mme Samuel-Langlois. She, however never completed her mission. Precisely why this was is not entirely clear to me on the evidence. What is clear, however, is that the parties urged the court to have regard to evidence of tests that had not been carried out under the supervision of a court expert. It held that Nullifire had wrongly terminated the contract without giving the contractual notice required and that Nullifire had failed to justify this conduct by proving that Interdesco's paint was substandard. Alleged Fraud: Nullifire has recently obtained evidence which, it contends, proves that the assertions made by Interdesco in its conclusions were deliberate falsehoods in that Interdesco had indeed been party to tests procured by Cryotherm in relation to a proposed distributorship agreement, which tests demonstrated that Interdesco's S60 paint was substandard. That evidence consists of an affidavit sworn on 12 March 1991 by Mr. Munn, the managing director of Cryotherm and a number of documents produced by Mr. Munn. I was told that Mr. Munn provided this assistance after Nullifire had informed him that a subpoena had been issued in the present proceedings. Revision proceedings in France: In the present case Nullifire initiated the recours en revision on 26 March 1991. The grounds relied upon include the following: Interdesco deliberately withheld

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