Judge Robinson grants in part motion for judgment as a matter of law increasing jury’s damages award

Judge Sue L. Robinson recently granted in part a motion for judgment as a matter of law on damages “because defendant did not present opinion testimony from an expert witness on damages, and ‘the amount of damages has not been put in dispute.'”  Ironworks Patents, LLC v. Apple, Inc., Civ. No. 10-258-SLR (D. Del. June 12, 2017).  The motion sought an increase in the $3 million damages awarded by the jury to $17.9 million, the amount proposed by the plaintiff’s expert and unrebutted by any defense expert.  The defendant argued that because the burden of proving damages was on the plaintiff, it was not required to “disprove” the damages theory of the plaintiff’s expert.  The Court explained, though, that “once a plaintiff has come forward with ‘reliable and sufficient evidence’ supporting its damages theory, the burden shifts to the defendant.  Id. at 24.  Here, the defendant failed to rebut the plaintiff’s damages theory through actual expert evidence (as opposed to attorney argument).  The jury’s award of $3 million, the Court found, was below the lowest amount discussed by the plaintiff’s expert, which the Court found was supported by sufficient evidence.  Id. at 27.  The Court therefore adjusted the damages award to $8,940,544, the lowest amount discussed by the plaintiff’s expert.  Id.

Ironworks Patents 10-258

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