Court Upholds $15.5 Million Verdict Obtained in Favor of Ashby & Geddes’ Client; Awards an Additional $850,000 in Fees Following Late-Trial Revelation that Key Documents Were Not Produced or Properly Logged During Discovery

Ashby & Geddes recently represented M&G Polymers USA, LLC (“M&G”) in its successful jury trial against defendant Carestream Health, Inc. (“Carestream”).  The case was a complex breach of contract action centering on the terms of a supply agreement and on M&G’s contention that Carestream had not acted in good faith with regard to that agreement.  Following nearly three weeks of testimony, the jury returned a $15.5 million verdict in M&G’s favor.

As detailed by the Court’s 191-page opinion denying Carestream’s new trial motion and granting M&G’s motion for attorneys’ fees and expenses, it was learned in the closing days of trial that Carestream had failed to produce or assert privilege over certain key documents which bore upon the credibility of its witnesses and the defenses it had been asserting throughout the litigation.  The Court ordered those documents to be turned over immediately, finding that M&G had been prejudiced by their non-production and that Carestream had waived any claim of privilege which otherwise might have applied if timely asserted.  Carestream challenged that order and several earlier rulings, including a summary judgment decision regarding a UCC-based lost profits claim.

Following a comprehensive review of the bases for the challenged rulings, the Court’s post-trial opinion upheld the jury’s verdict and concluded that M&G was entitled to an additional award of $850,000.00 for legal fees stemming from Carestream’s litigation conduct.  The Court applied Rule 16(f), Rule 37(b)(2) and the bad faith exception to the American Rule in support of the fee award, noting that Carestream’s claimed defenses were belied by the same key documents that were not provided to M&G until the end of the trial.

Steven T. Margolin and Andrew D. Cordo, members of our Commercial Litigation and Counseling group, represented M&G throughout the litigation and were part of the trial team led by co-counsel from Hogan & Hartson LLP.  The case is captioned M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Carestream Health, Inc.,C.A. No. 07C-11-242-PLA.  [Opinion]