Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Defendant Precluded From Informing Jury of Possible Enhancement of Damages Award in Willfulness Retrial

The court granted plaintiff's motion in limine under FRE 403 to preclude defendant from telling the jury that damages could be enhanced or trebled at a willfulness retrial and rejected defendant's argument that its supplier's indemnification agreement should similarly be excluded. "No party may discuss the potential that the Court may enhance the damages awarded by the previous jury if the jury in the second trial makes a finding of willfulness. [Defendant] also argues that [its supplier's] indemnification falls within this same category and must also be excluded. The Court disagrees. Unlike treble damages, which is irrelevant to the question before the jury on willfulness, [the supplier's] indemnification agreement is relevant to [defendant's] alleged willfulness. Moreover, any minimal prejudicial effect is outweighed by its substantial probative value."

Mass Engineered Design, Inc. v. Planar Systems, Inc., 3-16-cv-01510 (ORD July 6, 2018, Order) (Simon, USDJ)

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