Substantial Damage Claims
The issue of damages demands the same or greater attention than the issue of liability. Deciding whether to seek damages or other relief, and knowing as a matter of law when lost profits or punitive damages may be recoverable, and whether the evidence will support a claim for significant damages, should all be determined as early as possible.
In fraud cases for plaintiffs, including franchisees, dealers and other investors, Carmen D. Caruso Law Firm has presented numerous lost profit damage claims based on the pre-sale representations that were made to induce the investments, overcoming defense arguments at the summary judgment and motion in limine stages that the plaintiffs supposedly had no basis to rely on the projections. The theory employed in these cases is that the defrauded purchaser is entitled to the benefit of the bargain that was promised.
Likewise, Carmen D. Caruso has obtained substantial settlements in franchise and dealer termination cases for lost profit damages based on his clients’ business history, and he likewise obtained lost profit damages (overcoming the defense challenge to the admissibility of his damage expert’s opinions) on behalf of a minority franchisee that was denied the opportunity to acquire a franchise territory in violation of his civil rights.
In other cases representing defendants, Carmen has had substantial success in refuting inflated damage claims that have been alleged against his clients. For example:
- In defending a law firm accused of malpractice in the preparation of Franchise Disclosure Documents, where the franchisees were able to invoke a right or rescission to the detriment of the franchisor (the law firm’s client), we established that the plaintiffs’ alleged damages (a claim upwards of $20 Million) was wildly inflated because the problems that the franchisor client was experiencing were the result of business deficiencies in their franchising program and overzealous sales representations made by the plaintiffs themselves – none of which was attributable to the alleged lawyer misconduct.
- In defending a theft of trade secrets case against an international franchisor that was accused of misappropriating oven technology, the plaintiffs’ claim of over $200 Million in lost profit damages was refuted by proof that this allegedly new technology had been around for years and that its claimed economic potential was overstated.
- In separate cases, disappointed investors in a medical technology company and the developer of a video-dispensing unit each sought to present very large lost profit claims that relied on unproven assumptions about the technology and the size of the relevant market. These cases were settled at nuisance value after depositions revealed that most of the plaintiff’s assumptions could never be proven.