July 25th, 2022 by Rieders Travis in Contracts

Needville Little League v. Little League Baseball, Pa. Civil No. 21-00801 (C.P. Lycoming January 4, 2022) (Linhardt, J.)  Plaintiffs claimed breach of contract resulting in plaintiff’s wrongful exclusion from the Little League World Series and causing them damages.  The court found that plaintiffs should be permitted to amend because they did not attach sufficient materials to their complaint to show what the contract was that was breached.  The Court finds that Plaintiffs have pied the existence of a contract: the Charter as amended by the COVID-19 protocols. Plaintiffs essentially alleged that the Charter is an agreement between the parties, pursuant to which Plaintiffs paid registration fees and agreed to abide by Defendant’s rules and regulations, and Defendant agreed to conduct a nationwide tournament in accordance to certain procedures.  The Court will not grant a demurrer on the basis of failure to plead the existence of a contract or the contention that the COVID-19 protocols were not part of a contract between the parties as a matter of law. Defendant has pointed to a provision of the COVID-19 protocols reproduced in Plaintiffs’ Complaint that states Defendant “will work efficiently to communicate with the appropriate family members, team contacts, and state health officials, to initiate all appropriate quarantine, isolation, and contact tracing procedures.” Defendant argues that this provision reflects broad discretion to amend its response to the COVID-19 pandemic given the uncertainty and risk of running tournaments in the summer of 2021. Ultimately, while the Complaint lists in detail many of the acts of Defendant that Plaintiffs consider wrongful, it does not state with specificity which provisions of the contract Plaintiffs contend Defendant breached, in what manner those breaches occurred, or which of Defendant’s actions breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The failure to attach the contract hinders the Court’s analysis of these questions.

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]



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