Bet the Company – and Win
Published Date: August 17, 2017
Peckar & Abramson’s Chicago office scored a victory on behalf of its client in a true “bet the company litigation”. The Plaintiff, a global and well-funded competitor, alleged that our client had engaged in fraud and conspiracy, while improperly aiding and abetting unfair competition practices. The plaintiff’s sought punitive damages that would have bankrupted our client. This case spanned seven years of litigation, during which we were successful in having the Court dismiss all but one count of the complaint against our client. We were also successful in getting the Court to deny multiple rounds of motions to compel additional discovery and to deny Plaintiff’s summary judgment motion.
We participated in a settlement conference before our trial judge, about a year prior to the trial of this matter. Although our client made a reasonable offer, Plaintiff ‘s counsel rejected it and actually raised its client’s demand in response.
Our lawyers tried the case to a bench trial over the course of a month, during which the Plaintiff sought $6-8 million in damages, which included over $1 million in prejudgment interest. Although the Court found our client liable for the only remaining count against it, aiding and abetting, the judgment amount was less than the amount that our client offered to pay in settlement. The Court also denied the requested award of prejudgment interest as “inequitable”, and, after our cross-examination of the Plaintiff ‘s expert, found that the expert’s analysis was “speculative” and “tainted”.