KST Data, Inc. v. DXC Technology Co., No. 19-55422 (9th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
A defendant is not required to file a new answer reasserting its affirmative defenses when the claim in the amended complaint related to those affirmative defenses remains the same. After ES entered into a contract with KST to provide services to NASA, KST filed suit against ES after ES's nonpayment of invoices. The district court granted summary judgment sua sponte to KST on its breach of contract claim.
Applying de novo review, the Ninth Circuit held that, by not giving ES notice and the opportunity to assert its affirmative defenses, the district court erred in granting summary judgment sua sponte. The panel also held that ES was not required to respond and reassert its affirmative defenses to KST's Second Amended Complaint because ES had already asserted those affirmative defenses in response to the same breach of contract claim in the First Amended Complaint. Therefore, the panel reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment and entry of judgment for KST and remanded with instructions for the district court to allow ES to show why KST is not entitled to judgment as a matter of law on KST's breach of contract claim.