Masimo Corporation v. Philips Electronics North America Corporation, et al, 1-09-cv-00080 (DED May 18, 2015, Order) (Stark, J.)
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Misconduct of Plaintiff's Lead Trial Counsel Does Not Warrant New Trial
Despite finding attorney misconduct, the court denied defendant's motion for a new trial and rejected the argument that plaintiff tainted the jury verdict by discussing the results of another case involving one of the patents-in-suit. "[Plaintiff] told the jury that: (1) another jury found the [patent] valid; (2) the Federal Circuit affirmed that verdict; and (3) as a result, [a third party] paid over $500 million dollars to [plaintiff]. . . . [T]he Court first concludes that there was 'attorney misconduct' in the sense that there were multiple violations of the Court's orders regarding the proper and improper uses of facts about the [other case]. These violations were committed by [plaintiff's] lead counsel . . . The Court's efforts to ensure a fair trial to both sides were made all the more difficult by [plaintiff's lead counsel's] decision to walk up to the line the Court had drawn and, several times, step right over it. . . . The Court finds that it is not reasonably probable that [lead counsel's] conduct with respect to the [prior case] influenced the jury's verdict. The Court reaches this conclusion based primarily on the strength of the evidence presented by [plaintiff]. After all, this was a case in which the undisputed damages evidence was that an entire industry -- other than [defendant] and one Chinese company -- took licenses from [plaintiff] for innovative technology that saved thousands of lives and billions of dollars in healthcare costs."