Litigation Success Stories

Antitrust

Virtual Maintenance, Inc. v Prime Computer

This case involved a groundbreaking series of antitrust decisions commencing with a greater than $30 million jury verdict at trial in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan in 1991. Mr. Young was lead counsel for Plaintiff. The case then proceeded to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals where the panel reversed the case and then proceeded to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the High Court reversed the 6th Circuit. However, the 6th Circuit then sent the case back to the U.S. District Court for a new trial on separate grounds, which, in turn, was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case was settled on the eve of the nine justices taking up the second petition for certiorari. The case set groundbreaking precedent as it relates to the tying of high technology products and the definition of relevant product markets. Prime was represented by Honigman, Miller, Schwartz & Cohn; Hale & Dorr; Charles Fried, Solicitor General of the United States in the Reagan Administration and of the Harvard Law School.

Virtual Maintenance, Inc. v. Prime Computer, Inc., 11 F.3d 660, 1993-2 Trade Cases P 70,446 (6th Cir.(Mich.), Dec 15, 1993);Virtual Maintenance, Inc. v. Prime Computer, Inc., 995 F.2d 1324, 1993-2 Trade Cases P 70,400 (6th Cir.(Mich.), Jun 04, 1993);Virtual Maintenance, Inc. v. Prime Computer, Inc., 957 F.2d 1318, 1992-1 trade Cases P 69,730 (6th Cir.(Mich.), Feb 27, 1992); andVirtual Maintenance, Inc. v. Prime Computer, Inc., 735 F.Supp. 231, 1990-1 Trade Cases P 69,050 (E.D. Mich., Apr 20, 1990).

 

CTC Communications Corp. v Bell Atlantic Corporation (now Verizon) [Maine]

This case involved antitrust allegations on behalf of CTC, a reseller of telecommunication products. The firm represented Plaintiff CTC Communications, a publicly owned trade facilities-based telecommunications carrier in the Eastern United States.

This case involved varying battles in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. District Court in Portland, Maine. Ultimately, the case was tried in the U.S. District Court in Maine and settled in the third week of trial. Bell Atlantic was represented by Winston & Strawn of Chicago.

CTC Communications Corp. v. Bell Atlantic Corp., 77 F.Supp.2d 124, 1991-1 Trade Cases P 72,421 (D.Me., Jan 12, 1999) and CTC Communications Corp. v. Bell Atlantic Corp., 14 F.Supp.2d 133 (D.Me., Jul 31, 1998).

Automotive

Coupled Products v Navistar

Our client, Coupled Products, brought a breach of contract claim against automotive manufacturer Navistar.  Navistar counter sued seeking hundreds of thousands in damages.  We were retained to represent Coupled at trial against two prominent national law firms. After a two and a half week trial, the jury awarded Coupled all of the $923,490.03 in damages Coupled sought – to the penny – and rejected Navistar’s counterclaims.  We then pursued attorney fees, costs and interests for our client, and after numerous days of evidentiary hearing, the court entered a final judgment for $2,221,973.85 plus continuing costs and interest. The case settled before the appeal.

 

Multimatic v Faurecia

Faurecia, a French automotive supplier, asked Multimatic, a Canadian automotive supplier, to supply parts to Faurecia for eventual use on a Chrysler line of vehicles. Multimatic designed a part and submitted that design to Faurecia after Faurecia signed a confidentiality agreement with Multimatic, promising to limit disclosure on this design. Nevertheless, Faurecia disclosed the design to one of Multimatic’s competitors. This competitor eventually replaced Multimatic. Multimatic brought a breach of contract lawsuit against Faurecia in Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Young & Associates represented Multimatic. After one week of trial, the jury awarded the full amount of damages sought by Multimatic, $10 million, and asked the Court whether it could impose additional damages.

Detroit Center Tool, Inc. v Classic Design, Inc.

This case involved a dispute over engineering and design work that Classic Design was hired to perform for Detroit Center Tool on robotic assembly lines in numerous automotive plants in North America. The firm represented Plaintiff Detroit Center Tool. The Oakland County jury awarded the firm’s client, Detroit Center Tool, a verdict of $9 million, one of the largest awards ever in Oakland County Circuit Court.

K&S Services, Inc. v General Motors

K&S Services obtained $3 million in a settlement with General Motors before trial. K&S sued GM over unpaid invoices in connection with repair work performed by K&S for GM. GM countersued for over $10 million in alleged overcharges by K&S. After extensive discovery, and shortly before trial, a former judge serving as case evaluator suggested an award to K&S of approximately $3 million. Both parties accepted, and the case was settled on that basis.

Complex Contract

Coupled Products v Navistar

Our client, Coupled Products, sued for about $1,000,000 and attorney fees when Navistar failed to fully pay for parts that Coupled had shipped. Navistar claimed that the parts had been shipped late and counter-sued for about $700,000. After a one week trial in Oakland County Circuit Court, a jury deliberated for only one hour before awarding Coupled its claimed damages — to the penny — and awarded $0 to Navistar. Coupled is currently seeking attorney fees from Navistar.

 

Provider Creditors Committee v United American Healthcare Corporation

The firm sought, and was granted, an interlocutory appeal of a venue issue. The Court of Appeals agreed with our clients’ position and ordered the case transferred to a different court. The opinion was published as 275 Mich App 90; 738 NW2d 770 (2007).

 

Ferris v Nissho Iwai American Corporation (Japan), et. al.

This case involved a Japanese trading company who defaulted on monies due upon purchasing a leasing company. The firm represented Plaintiff Ferris. We obtained an $8+ Million Judgment (including over $1 Million in attorneys fees). Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn represented Defendants.

 

Michigan Repacking & Produce Company v Dade Service Corporation, et. al.

This case involved massive refrigeration failures at a huge repacking plant in Detroit, Michigan. The firm represented Plaintiff Michigan Repacking, the largest wholesaler of fruit and vegetables in Michigan. The case was ultimately settled on the eve of trial in the Wayne County Circuit Court for nearly $10,000,000 against the three system suppliers.

 

Gleeson v Borda, et. al.

This case involved allegations of fraudulent misrepresentations to induce Plaintiff to join a newly formed law firm. The firm represented Defendant Borda, a principal of the newly formed law firm. Three of the original four Counts of the Complaint were adjudicated and dismissed through Summary Disposition Motions leaving one Count to adjudicate at trial. Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Rae Lee Chabot granted Defendants’ Motion for Dismissal at the end of Plaintiff’s proofs on this remaining Count.

 

Kolene Corporation v Ciarlone, et al.

This case involved allegations of conspiracy and expropriation of trade secrets against several Defendants. The firm represented Plaintiff Kolene, the world’s largest manufacturer of molten salt cleaning systems for industrial processes ranging from aerospace to automobile. The Oakland County jury awarded Kolene a $1.3 million verdict and the Judge issued a Preliminary Injunction against Defendants, a competitor and a former Vice President.

 

Fourteen Cities v Southern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority

This case involved an acrimonious dispute between the largest composting operation in North America, which serves 14 surrounding communities and its host city. Mr. Young was appointed as a Special Master to oversee operations and advise the Court on matters. In a rare public comment, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Fred M. Mester announced that “Not only is Rodger D. Young an outstanding lawyer, but he also proved to be a facilitator of the highest calling in resolving the seemingly un-resolvable.”

Manufacturer Rep

Adams Dolik & Associates v Willis Manufacturing

An arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association awarded Adams Dolik & Associates $500,000 as compensation for unpaid commissions owed to the manufacturer’s representative for sales made on behalf of Willis Manufacturing Inc., an automotive supplier based in Delaware. According to the ruling, Willis Manufacturing failed to pay Adams Dolik & Associates commissions on multiple sales initiated by Dolik on behalf of Willis, dating back to June 2003.

Addressed during the arbitration were the multiple-tiered commission rates in the original contract and commissions paid on derivative, or successor, parts — those modified based on original parts specifically covered under the contract. Dolik was also awarded future commissions on sales initiated under the agreement as a result of the arbitrator’s ruling.

 

Kingsley Associates, Inc. v Moll PlastiCrafters, Inc.

This case involved a manufacturer representative dispute over the right of commissions on parts that a representative sells for the manufacturer to the automotive industry. The firm represented the Plaintiff Kingsley. The federal jury awarded Kingsley a verdict of nearly $2 million in commissions.

The District Judge granted a Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law and alternately a new trial. The verdict was reinstated by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Kingsley Associates, Inc. v. Moll PlastiCrafters, Inc., 65 F.3d 498, 1995 Fed. App. 0279P (6th Cir.(Mich.), Sep 15, 1995).

 

Miltimore Sales, Inc. v International Rectifier, Inc.

This case involved a manufacturer’s representative’s claims for lost commissions. The firm represented Plaintiff Miltimore and obtained virtually everything that Miltimore had demanded resulting in a verdict, which with interest and costs, will total nearly $3 million. This seven-week jury trial was in the U.S. District Court in Detroit, Michigan. Defendant was represented by Foley & Lardner.

Patent/Trade Secret

Smith & Nephew, Inc. v. Arthrex, Inc.

This case involved patent infringement and was tried in the United States District Court in Marshall, Texas. Young & Associates represented the Defendant, Arthrex. Smith & Nephew was seeking a $9.4 million award. Ultimately a no cause for action was entered by the Federal Circuit.

 

Teleflex, Inc. v Ficosa North American Corp.

This case involved patent infringement. The firm represented Plaintiff Teleflex, a publicly traded multinational client. The Federal jury awarded Teleflex a large monetary verdict and the Judge issued a Permanent Injunction against Defendant, a Spanish company that had been competing with Teleflex.

The infringed technology involved the worldwide market for flexible transmission cables. This four-week jury trial in U.S. District Court in Detroit, Michigan pitted Young & Associates against the law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue.

 

Smith & Nephew, Inc. v Arthrex, Inc.

This case was tried twice in United States District Court in Portland, Oregon. Young & Associates represented the Defendant Arthrex. In the first trial, the jury was hung 7-1 in favor of the Defendant. In the second trial, Smith and Nephew obtained a $15 million verdict. The case was reversed on a successful appeal to the Federal Circuit and the verdict vacated.

 

MAI Systems Corporation v Peak Computer, Inc., et al.

This case involved copyright infringement allegations for computer operating systems. The firm represented Plaintiff MAI Systems. The Court ruled that when a computer is turned on, the transfer of the data from the hard drive to the RAM is equivalent of making a copy, and only the owner or licensee could do it. This created a significant problem for aftermarket service companies.

It triggered efforts to pass a new law beginning in the U.S. House by Rep. Joseph Knollenberg (R.-Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) to revise the Copyright Act so that it would permit the “rightful possessor” of the program to copy it for that purpose. Mr. Young acted as lead lobbyist for the ultimately successful efforts to amend the Copyright Act.

 

IMPCO v GFI

IMPCO sued GFI (represented by Young & Associates), a manufacturer of alternative fuel systems, for patent infringement. Although IMPCO, a leading alternative fuel systems manufacturer headquartered in California, had a strong patent infringement case against GFI, GFI was able to raise substantial questions as to the validity of IMPCO’s patent. As a result, IMPCO decided to settle the case by dismissing its lawsuit against GFI.

Professional Liability

Carbtex Marketing Universal, Inc. v. Major Law Firm

Young & Associates successfully defended a major law firm on a claim of legal malpractice arising from a failed merger transaction. Plaintiffs sought $15 million and Young & Associates obtained a no cause on plaintiffs’ claims and won a $24,000 verdict on a counterclaim.

 

MCA v Grant Thornton et. al.

Young & Associates successfully defended an accounting firm against allegations of accountant malpractice in a series of cases stemming from the audit of MCA Financial Corporation, a mortgage banker. Bodman, Longley represented MCA.

The basis of the charges was that the accounting firm had failed to spot MCA’s fraud. The accounting firm responded that MCA’s fraud had been calculated to deceive the accounting firm and, consequently, there could not be and was not any negligence on the part of the accounting firm. Young & Associates successfully defended the accounting firm in state and federal court on six separate occasions. The success at the trial court level was duplicated by requested appellate victories.

 

Chase Bank v Grant Thornton, et. al.

Young & Associates successfully defended an accounting firm against allegations of fraud by Chase Bank and Paine Webber. Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft of New York represented Paine Webber, and Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn represented Chase Bank.

Young & Associates succeeded in having the complaints of both Chase and Paine Webber dismissed. Chase Bank appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court and Young & Associates prevailed in both venues. Consequently, all charges in these multi-million dollar lawsuits against the accounting firm were dismissed.

 

Colton v Major Accounting Firm

A disgruntled real estate investor sued a major accounting firm for malpractice as it related to three review engagements. The plaintiff claimed $12 million as a result of the ultimate collapse of a real estate company in which he held a major interest. After a five-week trial, the jury entered a no cause of action against the plaintiff.

Real Estate

Grubb & Ellis v Griswold Properties

An Oakland County, Michigan jury awarded Grubb & Ellis $888,778 after finding landlord Griswold Properties L.L.C. responsible for the payment of a commission on a 2002 lease to H&R Block in downtown Detroit.

Griswold Properties had argued that it did not owe the commission. A commission contract was finalized between Griswold Properties and Grubb & Ellis detailing how commission would be paid if H&R Block signed a lease for space in the Dime Building. When the person representing the tax firm left the company, H&R Block began negotiating directly with Griswold Properties. No commission was paid to Grubb & Ellis.

The case is significant because it shows that commercial brokers can document work on deals even when final agreements are not reached for significant periods. The mere separation in time between a broker performing services and the ultimate lease negotiated directly by a landlord is not necessarily enough to avoid liability.

Technology

Ford v TSC

Ford filed a lawsuit against TSC in Wayne County Circuit Court, claiming that the operational speeds in a complex software package were deficient. Young & Associates represented TSC, a public company. Ford asked for over $30 million in damages from TSC initially, and demanded a verdict of $14 million at trial. The case was mediated for $6 million against TSC. After a 10-day trial, a jury awarded $3.1 million to Ford but the case was settled for substantially less prior to appeal.

 

Repunetics, Inc. v Virtual Technology, Inc.

This case involved a contract dispute over the design and manufacture of sophisticated electronic disc-drive cabinets for Virtual. The firm represented the Defendant Virtual. The Ann Arbor jury awarded Plaintiff nothing on its multimillion-dollar claim against Virtual and awarded Virtual nearly $200,000 on its counterclaim. This case generated a great deal of interest in the high-tech market.

 

Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. v Computer Methods Corporation [Tennessee]

This case involved the joint venture development of high tech tire tag technology between the parties. The firm represented Defendant Computer Methods Corporation. The trial was in the U.S. District Court in Nashville, TN. Bridgestone/Firestone, represented by Jones Day Reavis & Pogue, sued for $23.0 Million and was awarded nothing by the jury in its verdict. The jury granted Computer Methods Corporation over $600,000 of a $700,000 Counterclaim against Bridgestone.

 

Comm-Tract Corporation v Northern Telecom, Inc. [Massachusetts]

This case involved a Boston based telecommunications maintenance company that specialized in maintaining high technology telecommunication systems manufactured by Nortel and others. The firm represented Plaintiff Comm-Tract. This case lingered in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston for nearly four and a half years before it finally went to trial.

This case was settled in the third week of the trial and, in the words of John Polmonari, President of Comm-Tract, “I never could have asked for anything more from my law firm.” Hale & Dorr represented Northern Telecom. Comm-Tract Corp. v. Northern Telecom, Inc., 168 F.R.D. 4, 1996-2 Trade Cases P 71,525, 35 Fed.R.Serv.3d 811.

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