Sam Knef Jun. 14, 2017, 2:08pm


ST. LOUIS — U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr. has denied a steel tubing manufacturer's motion to dismiss a contractor's claims for past-due invoices totaling more than $14 million.

The dispute involves Robinson Mechanical Contractors Inc. and its case against PTC Group Holdings Corp. and its subsidiary PTC Seamless Tube Corp., based in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Robinson claims it is owed $14.8 million for labor and materials that it and its subcontractors furnished for a PTC construction project.

PTC Seamless Tube is dissolved and defunct but able to be sued under Delaware law, the ruling issued June 1 states.

Robinson Mechanical sued in May 2015 after PTC fell behind on payments for work performed at PTC's Kentucky steel tubing manufacturing plant, according to background information in the ruling.

PTC Holding stepped in to make payments based on a new letter agreement reached with Robinson in December 2014 for invoices due by the end of that year but made no payments for future work done by the plaintiff for Seamless.

Robinson sued, claiming breach of contract, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, promissory estoppel and quantum meruit.

A court later partially granted PTC’s motion in 2016, dismissing three of the plaintiff’s claims, including breach of contract, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing and quantum meruit.

The parties engaged in discovery, after which Robinson moved to file a second amended complaint in October seeking to add PTC Seamless as a defendant so it could add a new count "to pierce the corporate veil between Seamless and PTC and to reassert counts previously dismissed based upon new allegations in light of facts discovered since the filing of the first amended complaint," the ruling states.

After the court allowed the second amended complaint, Robinson alleged that PTC and its wholly owned subsidiary Seamless "acted as a single economic entity and are alter egos - subject to liability for plaintiff's claims."

The ruling states that Seamless failed to answer the second amended complaint and is in default in this action.

PTC for a second time sought to dismiss Robinson's breach of contract, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing and quantum meruit claims, in addition to the plaintiff’s new claim to pierce the corporate veil between Seamless and PTC, which Limbaugh denied.

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