On June 17, 2022, the Texas Supreme Court docket docket affirmed a lower appellate courtroom’s dedication, (which we beforehand wrote about proper right here), which nixed the plaintiff’s $740 million commerce secret win at trial and required the plaintiff to each accept a $201 million breach of contract win (which the defendant decried as “jackpot justice”) or return to trial on all claims.
Briefly, precise property startup HouseCanary launched go nicely with in the direction of Title Provide, Inc., now typically known as Amrock, alleging misappropriation of commerce secrets and techniques and methods beneath the Texas Uniform Commerce Secrets and techniques and methods Act (TUTSA), fraud, and breach of contract. At trial, the jury awarded HouseCanary $740 million on its TUTSA and fraud claims and $201 million on its breach of contract declare. HouseCanary could elect to recuperate one or the other, and it elected to recuperate the $740 million. On enchantment, the lower appellate courtroom reversed the trial courtroom dedication regarding TUTSA and fraud primarily based totally on deficiencies throughout the jury price. The appellate courtroom then found that the TUTSA, fraud, and breach of contract claims had been inseparable, leaving HouseCanary with two decisions: to retry all of its claims or recuperate solely the $201 million awarded on the breach of contract declare.
HouseCanary sought analysis from the Texas Supreme Court docket docket. In its petition for analysis, HouseCanary argued that the lower appellate courtroom misconstrued TUTSA by holding that the statute precludes claims based upon alleged contractual breaches that occurred after Title Provide had already acquired HouseCanary’s commerce secrets and techniques and methods. HouseCanary argued that Title Provide’s conduct constituted “reverse engineering,” which it described “as an iconic occasion of ‘improper means’” beneath TUTSA. HouseCanary moreover argued that the lower appellate courtroom “misread the evidentiary report” in reaching its conclusion because of the “acquisition of secrets and techniques and methods adopted from (reasonably than preceded) [Title Source’s alleged] breach.” HouseCanary extra challenged the lower courtroom’s ruling on fraud, arguing that the lower appellate courtroom’s discovering that the fraud declare was preempted by TUTSA was inaccurate and in no way raised by Title Provide underneath.
Title Provide’s successor, Amrock, filed a cross-petition, reviewed that if the Texas Supreme Court docket docket the lower appellate courtroom’s dedication, it should go extra and wipe out the $201 million breach of contract award as correctly. Amrock criticized the judgment as “a return of ‘jackpot justice’ in Texas” and characterised HouseCanary’s damages proof at trial as “speculation and wishful pondering.”
In orders issued on June 17, the Texas Supreme Court docket docket denied every HouseCanary’s petition and Amrock’s cross-petition, with out rationalization. Accordingly, the lower appellate courtroom’s dedication will stand and HouseCanary will presumably weigh whether or not or to not proceed with a $201 million judgment or take a shot at retrying the entire case.