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Great Am. Ins. Co. v. Nextday Network Hardware Corp.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

December 23, 2014

GREAT AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY, as subrogee for Vectren Corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
NEXTDAY NETWORK HARDWARE CORP., DONALD BANYONG, and JOHN/JANE DOES 1 through 10, Defendants

Page 637

For Great American Insurance Company, as subrogee for Vectren Corporation, Plaintiff: Stephen Neil Dratch, PRO HAC VICE, Franzblau Dratch PD, Livingston, NJ; Eric N Stravitz, Stravitz Law Firm, PC, Lanham, MD.

For Nextday Network Hardware Corp., Donald Banyong, John/Jane Does, 1 through 10, Defendants: Richard Denton Caldwell, LEAD ATTORNEY, Rosenau LLP, Washington, DC; Kenneth Hansen Rosenau, Rosenau and Rosenau, Washington, DC.

Page 638

MEMORANDUM OPINION

THEODORE D. CHUANG, United States District Judge.

This case arose after Defendant Nextday Network Hardware Corp. (" Nextday" ) bought hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of information technology (" IT" ) equipment from an individual who stole

Page 639

the equipment from his employer, Vectren Corporation (" Vectren" ). Plaintiff Great American Insurance Company (" Great American" ), Vectren's insurer, filed suit against Nextday; the president of Nextday, Donald Banyong; and ten unidentified Nextday employees who participated in the sale (collectively, " Defendants" ). The Complaint asserts claims for conversion, aiding and abetting conversion, and civil conspiracy. Presently pending is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. ECF No. 7. The Motion is ripe for disposition, and no hearing is necessary to resolve the issues. See Local Rule 106(5) (D. Md. 2014). For the reasons that follow, the Motion is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are described as alleged in the Complaint. ECF No. 1. Christopher Brian Crowe was an Associate Network and Telecommunications Analyst at Vectren. In November 2012, Vectren discovered that Crowe had been stealing new and slightly used IT equipment from Vectren data centers and other locations. The fair market value of the stolen IT equipment totaled $919,338.05. Crowe then sold the stolen IT equipment through online auction website eBay.com to Nextday for $228.609.15. Great American alleges that Banyong and ten unidentified Nextday employees participated in purchasing the equipment from Crow; including setting the purchase price and providing the shipment information.

Crowe was eventually arrested by the Evansville Police Department (" EPD" ) in Indiana and charged with two counts of theft. He later pleaded guilty to the charges. In March 2013, the EPD informed Nextday that the IT equipment it purchased from Crowe was stolen. Despite the EPD's attempts to make arrangements for the equipment's return to Vectren. Banyong resisted and told the EPD that he planned to sell the remaining equipment he bought from Crowe. Great American paid Vectren for the loss and, on April 30, 2014, tiled suit against Defendants. Defendants now move to dismiss.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standards

To defeat a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the complaint must allege enough facts to state a plausible claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662. 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). A claim is plausible when the facts pled " allow[] the Court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. Legal conclusions or conclusory statements do not suffice. Id. The Court must examine the complaint as a whole, consider the factual allegations in the complaint as true, and construe the factual allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Alb ...


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