Verdicts And Settlements

Contingency-Based Business Litigation

Every business dispute, whether a small contract matter or a major ethical investment issue, requires legal representation that is creative and dynamic, but also practical and cost-effective. Cooper & Elliott’s team of experienced attorneys has been litigating on behalf of businesses for over 20 years.

Featured Story: Thinking Outside of the Box for a Diamond Merchant

Saving a business after a hotel theft and limited insurance liability threatened to turn $1,000,000 in diamonds into a $500 payout.

Our client, a diamond merchant, checked into a hotel and stored his precious inventory in the hotel’s safe-deposit boxes. That night, a group of jewel thieves pulled off a heist months in the making.

The FBI eventually caught the thieves but didn’t recover the loot. The hotel seemed to be at fault for the loss, but as long as the hotel had locks on the windows and a “metal safe or vault in good order,” by law the hotel’s liability for theft was limited to $500—no matter how big the loss or how careless the hotel was.

At his deposition, the hotel’s manager explained that the safe-deposit boxes always took two keys to open. But here, the jewel thieves had been able to use just one key to get into the boxes, which meant the hotel had not actually provided a vault or safe in good order.

Seizing that argument—which no other victim had come up with—the judge issued a ruling in Henry’s favor and scheduled the case for trial where the only issue would be the amount of damages. The hotel’s insurance company quickly decided to settle with Henry, who ended up with an offer that covered his lost diamonds.

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Selected Business Verdicts and Settlements:

  • $4,700,000 jury verdict for real estate developer after property owner reneged on sale of property
  • $4,440,000 jury verdict for breach of contract and tortious interference by manufacturer$2,200,000 settlement for individual wrongly deprived of royalties
  • $1,700,000 jury verdict for business owners defrauded in the sale of their business$900,000 settlement for diamond dealer after hotel failed to properly safeguard gems in hotel safe-deposit boxes
  • $706,000 arbitration award for franchisee in business dispute
  • $450,000 settlement for auto dealers in case against franchisor
  • $180,000 jury verdict in breach of contract case
  • $140,000 jury verdict for business owner who was cheated out of a deal he created
  • Confidential settlement in patent protection dispute

The outcome of any client’s case will depend on the particular legal and factual circumstances of the case.