After Being Retained Post-Verdict, GEAB&P Secures Reversal of Multi-Million Dollar Jury Verdict and Obtains a Non-Suit, Plus Costs, on Remand

GEAB&P has successfully defended Panasonic Office Products Company in a multi-million lawsuit brought against it in the Superior Court of California, Sacramento County, by a Sacramento-based former distributor of facsimile and copier machines. The former distributor initially sued Panasonic in 1998, alleging, among other things, wrongful termination and tortious interference with contractual relations. After a jury trial in which Panasonic was defended by another law firm resulted in a $3.2 million verdict (compensatory and punitive damages) against Panasonic on the tortious interference claim, Panasonic asked GEAB&P to represent it on its appeal from the judgment. We successfully argued to the California Court of Appeal that the verdict should be overturned in its entirety. The case was remanded for a new trial, and GEAB&P eliminated Pansonic’s exposure to punitive damages by securing a remand limited to the issue of contract damages, if any.

During the retrial, GEAB&P demonstrated that the plaintiff’s contract damage claims were flawed and legally insufficient. In November 2006, the trial court granted Panasonic’s motion for a non-suit, dismissing plaintiff’s claim for breach of contract damages. Plaintiff took nothing from its suit and, on February 14, 2007, the Court awarded Panasonic costs in the amount of $142,228.90.

GEAB&P’s appeal and trial teams were led by partners Jeffrey T. Golenbock and Martin S. Hyman.

Court Decision