In re: CRM Collateral II, Inc., et al. v. Tri-County Metropolitan Transp, et al., No. 10-36090 (9th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
This case concerned a Railcar Contract with TriMet that required Colorado Railcar to secure a $3 million standby letter of credit, which Colorado Railcar arranged through Collateral II, a bankruptcy remote entity. TrimMet certified Collateral II's default and drew on the Letter of Credit when Colorado Railcar defaulted. At issue was whether Collateral II was a surety to Colorado Railcar, entitled to the defense of discharge. The court held that it was not. Because the standby letter of credit issued by KeyBank required TriMet to certify Collateral II's default, TriMet sought clarification that should Colorado Railcar default, TriMet's authority to certify Collateral II's default would be triggered. In response to TriMet's concern, Collateral II agreed to become a part of the Railcar Contract via Modification No. 1, but it undertook no new obligation nor did it subject itself to any additional liability beyond what it previously undertook by securing the Letter of Credit at Colorado Railcar's direction. Thus, no suretyship was created. Because Collateral II was not entitled to the protections of a surety, it was error for the district court to grant summary judgment in its favor.