Eleven Million Dollar Business Damages Jury Verdict
After two years of litigation and arbitration, John Houser while a partner at his previous CPA firm – Miller Ray Houser & Stewart LLP – successfully testified to the plaintiffs’ economic damages and the defendants’ unjust enrichment resulting in an award to the plaintiffs’ of over $11 million. The case ultimately resulted in a jury trial in Federal Court before Judge Richard Story. The defendants hired a prominent and internationally known expert to rebut John’s lost profits calculation. John has been Of Counsel at McNair McLemore & Middlebrooks since 2017.
Background: This was truly a case of David versus Goliath. The defendants, subsidiaries of $18 billion company with over 43,000 employees, sold a 100% interest in one of its subsidiaries which serviced and installed heating and air conditioning equipment in metro Atlanta, to the plaintiffs. Following the sale, the defendants tortiously interfered with the plaintiffs’ business and wrongfully continued to use the plaintiffs’ name, logo and service marks.
Success: We were hired by the plaintiffs to calculate economic damages sustained by the plaintiffs and the amount of unjust enrichment earned by the defendants as a result of Lanham Act violations in this breach of contract and trademark infringement dispute. We analyzed both the plaintiffs’ and the defendants’ operations before and after the sale. Based on this analysis, we were able to calculate historical and future lost profits “but for” the defendants’ actions to be a $2 million and the defendants’ unjust profits as a result of Lanham Act violations to be $2.6 million. The jury awarded the plaintiffs $7.6 million for economic damages and Lanham Act violations plus $3.6 million in punitive damages and attorney fees. Our communication, jury presentation and testifying skills played a part in supporting the plaintiffs’ outstanding legal team at trial.
LVF Practice Group Profile
Our Litigation, Valuation, and Forensics Practice Group (LVF) continues to balance its practice between our three core service areas of litigation support, business valuations, and forensic fraud investigations. As a part of this practice, we are well experienced in complex business litigation and large white-collar fraud investigations for which we have served as testifying expert on many occasions.
Valuation work continues to be a fundamental issue in litigation, merger and acquisition consulting, and shareholder disputes. Our involvement in business transaction support services continues to grow as we continue to differentiate ourselves from traditional CPA firms as valued partners to attorneys, government investigators, and lenders.
While many traditional CPA firms are generalists when it comes to LVF services, we have committed to this practice space one hundred percent with professionals dedicated to this specialty area.