Bet The Company LitigationClients turn to Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker when the stakes are high, especially when the very survival of their business is hanging in the balance. Our success in such "bet the company" cases include:
Franchisor v. Franchisee. We were retained to represent 27 distributors and related companies in state court and arbitration against a multibillion-dollar international manufacturer of household products. The litigation evolved into proceedings in federal and state courts around the country. The cases included misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, tortious interference, Lanham Act violations, civil conspiracy, and insurance coverage issues. The litigation involved extensive electronic discovery, a month-long arbitration hearing, plus several hearings and appeals in various courts. A global settlement of this extensive dispute was finally achieved.
Utility v. Construction Contractor. Our client hired a contractor to engineer and construct a power plant. The construction experienced serious problems. At the end of the construction, our client filed an arbitration demand against the contractor, who responded with a counterclaim seeking $500 million. We exercised our client's right to draw upon the contractor's letters of credit totaling $30 million, which had been secured from banks in three different states. The court denied the contractor's request for an injunction, clearing the way for our client's presentation of the letters of credit. The parties then commenced extensive discovery involving over 1 million documents and over 100 days of depositions. At the conclusion of the 72-day hearing, our client was awarded over $25.5 million.
Automotive Manufacturer v. Former Executive. Our client, an American auto manufacturer, sued a competitor and a former executive in federal court suit in Detroit. Our client alleged that the executive took other employees to the competitor, along with thousands of confidential documents. As part of a team of in-house and outside counsel, we defeated the competitor's motion to transfer the case to Europe, where other litigation between the parties was already pending. After losing that motion, the competitor agreed in a settlement to pay $100 million to our client and to buy $1 billion of parts from our client.
Chemical Company v. Utility. We defended a utility company in a fraud and breach of contract action arising out of a failed nuclear power plant. The suit was brought by a chemical company, which was represented by a large international law firm. The cost of the facility, originally estimated at $200 million, ballooned to more than $5 billion. The chemical company sought $500 million in damages. The trial lasted 23 months in state court. Despite a federal regulatory agency record that established serious construction problems at the nuclear plant, we were ultimately able to achieve a settlement of the case on terms that were very favorable to our client. Thereafter, the chemical company itself became a client of our firm, along with the utility company.