Monday, November 5, 2012

Evidence Concerning Hurricane’s Impact on Plaintiff’s Business Was Not Inadmissible

The court denied defendants' motion to exclude references to Hurricane Katrina and its effect on plaintiff's business operations. "Defendants argue that if the Court permits testimony and evidence regarding Hurricane Katrina, it is highly likely that the jury will base its decision on something other than the established propositions in this case – that is, that the jury will be swayed by an alleged kinship with a small, hometown business that suffered as a result of the storm. . . . The Court finds that testimony and evidence regarding Hurricane Katrina is both relevant and not unfairly prejudicial. The storm’s effects are inextricably intertwined with Plaintiff’s history as a company. Furthermore, such testimony and evidence is relevant to Plaintiff’s damages claim and its argument that [its product's] commercial success is an objective indicator of nonobviousness. Finally, more than seven years have passed since Hurricane Katrina made landfall . . . thereby diminishing any risk of prejudice to Defendants from the introduction of such highly relevant and probative testimony and evidence."

Innovention Toys, LLC v. MGA Entertainment, Inc., et. al., 2-07-cv-06510 (LAED November 1, 2012, Order) (Morgan, J.).

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