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All-flash case rehash: Modus vs Nimbus lawyers off to DC

Venue moved from California

Modus, a customer of all-flash array startup Nimbus Data, has failed to have Nimbus’ suit against it for breach of contract dismissed.

The case is being heard in California’s Northern District court and concerns, Nimbus alleges, Modus buying a flash array from Nimbus and not paying the full balance for the equipment.

A filed court document (number 24, case 3:14-cv-04192-NC) states that Modus wanted the dual-controller array to work in a fail-over configuration and Nimbus engineers could not succeed in making this happen.

The document states:

Throughout 2012 and into 2013, neither Nimbus nor Modus was able to successfully resolve the problems with the controllers.

In September 2013, Nimbus refused to continue attempts to repair the controller until Modus paid the remaining balance for the computer equipment, and Modus refused to pay the remaining balance until the computer equipment was fully functional.

Nimbus then sued Modus for breach of contract, alleging it was owed $94,375 for the equipment. Modus tried to have the suit dismissed because it was not, it said, subject to such (personal) jurisdiction in California, and the Northern District court venue was improper.

Nimbus argued that the court did have jurisdiction and requested a discovery process, looking into Modus files, to find information that would demonstrate it.

The judge denied Nimbus’ argument, finding that “Nimbus has failed to meet its burden to make a prima facie showing of specific personal jurisdiction over Modus” and it also denied the discovery plea.

Additionally however, the judge transferred the case to the District of Columbia district court "in the interest of justice". Modus is a subsidiary of Modus eDiscovery Inc., which is head-quartered in Washington, DC.

It looks like the case, now numbered 1:14-cv-02223-JEB, has to effectively start again, once the Columbia district court puts it in its calendar. ®


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