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A recent Daubert case raised the issue of how closely a damages calculation has to reflect the corporate structure in order to be admissible.

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Colvin v. Syrian Arab Republic

In wrongful death suit arising from extrajudicial killing of famed war correspondent, court credits plaintiff expert’s “reasonable estimate” of loss of prospective income and benefits but finds expert failed to offset amount by consumption costs; court asks for updated expert report.

Court Awards Loss of Income Damages Related to Acclaimed War Correspondent’s Killing

In wrongful death suit arising from extrajudicial killing of famed war correspondent, court credits plaintiff expert’s “reasonable estimate” of loss of prospective income and benefits but finds expert failed to offset amount by consumption costs; court asks for updated expert report.

Acosta v. Wilmington Trust, N.A.

In ESOP case, court, citing Rule 26 of federal rules of civil procedure, denies defendant trustee’s motion to compel disclosure of information related to DOL expert’s prior work in valuation industry and expert’s other work for DOL on ESOP-related matters.

In ESOP Discovery Dispute, Court Affirms Protection of Expert Drafts Under Rule 26

In ESOP case, court, citing Rule 26 of federal rules of civil procedure, denies defendant trustee’s motion to compel disclosure of information related to DOL expert’s prior work in valuation industry and expert’s other work for DOL on ESOP-related matters.

My Imagination v. M.Z. Berger & Co. (II)

Court denies plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration, affirming earlier finding that the expert did not offer an opinion as to damages for loss of business value; expert never offered any opinion of business’s value at any time, court says.

Acosta v. Wilmington Trust, N.A.

In ESOP case pivoting on valuation, court denies parties’ Daubert challenges; court notes “gatekeeping” means focusing “on principles and methodology, not the conclusions that [the experts] generate”; parties’ objections are mostly quarrels with opposing expert’s conclusions, court finds.

In Gatekeeper Role, Court Trains Attention on Expert Methodology, Not Conclusions

In ESOP case pivoting on valuation, court denies parties’ Daubert challenges; court notes “gatekeeping” means focusing “on principles and methodology, not the conclusions that [the experts] generate”; parties’ objections are mostly quarrels with opposing expert’s conclusions, court finds.

Lund v. Lund (Lund II)

Appeals court upholds district court’s buyout order of minority shareholder’s interests in related family businesses (grocery store chain) as well as district court’s fair value determination; district court’s valuation “falls squarely” between trial experts’ valuations, appeals court says.

Appeals Court Upholds Grocery Store Buyout Ruling and Fair Value Determination

Appeals court upholds district court’s buyout order of minority shareholder’s interests in related family businesses (grocery store chain) as well as district court’s fair value determination; district court’s valuation “falls squarely” between trial experts’ valuations, appeals court says.

Stephanos v. Stephanos (In re Marriage of Stephanos)

Trial court adopts goodwill value determination of wife’s expert (residual method) as well as expert’s finding that none of goodwill in family business is personal to owner spouse; business’s success was not dependent on owner’s continued presence or his execution of a noncompete, court says.

Divorce Court Finds No Personal Goodwill Value in Single-Owner Business

Trial court adopts goodwill value determination of wife’s expert (residual method) as well as expert’s finding that none of goodwill in family business is personal to owner spouse; business’s success was not dependent on owner’s continued presence or his execution of a noncompete, court says.

Cargotec Corp. v. Logan Industries

Appeals court majority strikes down lost profits and diminished business value awards, finding plaintiff failed to show causation and its damages expert based his calculations on management’s business plan without substantiating the plan’s underlying (unreasonable) gross profit goals.

Court’s Majority Says Expert’s Reliance on Management Projections Was Unreasonable

Appeals court majority strikes down lost profits and diminished business value awards, finding plaintiff failed to show causation and its damages expert based his calculations on management’s business plan without substantiating the plan’s underlying (unreasonable) gross profit goals.

Henry v. Henry

In community property partition case, appeals court upholds valuation of community-owned firm; firm is not responsible for debts of an acquired company that are personally guaranteed by husband but not by express corporate contract; valuation must not subtract debt amount.

Louisiana Courts Wrestle With Treatment of Debt in Community Property Valuation

In community property partition case, appeals court upholds valuation of community-owned firm; firm is not responsible for debts of an acquired company that are personally guaranteed by husband but not by express corporate contract; valuation must not subtract debt amount.

Infogroup, Inc. v. Database USA.com LLC

Ruling on defendant’s post-trial motions, court reduces damages for copyright infringement where plaintiff’s expert included in damage calculation defendant’s profits for years for which the plaintiff failed to show “causal nexus” between profits claimed and the actual infringement.

Court Limits Damages for Copyright Infringement, Noting Lack of ‘Causal Nexus’

Ruling on defendant’s post-trial motions, court reduces damages for copyright infringement where plaintiff’s expert included in damage calculation defendant’s profits for years for which the plaintiff failed to show “causal nexus” between profits claimed and the actual infringement.

Ferraro v. Convercent, Inc.

In contract and tort case, court declines to exclude plaintiff’s damages expert, noting court’s gatekeeping function “is not a role that emphasizes exclusion of expert testimony”; expert’s background in economics and business valuation experience qualified him to value subject company.

Court Says Daubert’s ‘Gatekeeper’ Role Favors Inclusion, Not Exclusion

In contract and tort case, court declines to exclude plaintiff’s damages expert, noting court’s gatekeeping function “is not a role that emphasizes exclusion of expert testimony”; expert’s background in economics and business valuation experience qualified him to value subject company.

Namerow v. PediatriCare Associates, LLC

In pediatrician buyout suit, court says practice’s operating agreement requires net worth calculation; court agrees with defense expert’s definition of “net worth” as the value of assets minus liabilities, as stated in the balance sheets, and rejects proposed inclusion of intangible assets.

Court Says Expert’s Inclusion of Intangible Assets Violates Buyout Agreement

In pediatrician buyout suit, court says practice’s operating agreement requires net worth calculation; court agrees with defense expert’s definition of “net worth” as the value of assets minus liabilities, as stated in the balance sheets, and rejects proposed inclusion of intangible assets.

Zayo Group v. Latisys Holdings, LLC

In contract dispute, Chancery rejects plaintiff’s damages analysis, noting expert lacked valuation experience and chose a methodology (EBITDA multiple) that did not fit facts of case; court says there was no evidence that the alleged breach permanently diminished value of the acquired company.

Expert’s Use of Wrong Damages Methodology Results in ‘Grossly Inflated’ Damages

In contract dispute, Chancery rejects plaintiff’s damages analysis, noting expert lacked valuation experience and chose a methodology (EBITDA multiple) that did not fit facts of case; court says there was no evidence that the alleged breach permanently diminished value of the acquired company.

Enplas Display Device Corp. v. Seoul Semiconductor Co.

Court majority says jury award was based on insufficient evidence because expert’s damage theory envisioned a premium freedom-to-operate license based on past sales of noninfringing products; dissent says expert’s hypothetical negotiation reflected real world concerns and supported award.

Federal Circuit Majority Says ‘Premium’ License Calculation Includes Noninfringing Products

Court majority says jury award was based on insufficient evidence because expert’s damage theory envisioned a premium freedom-to-operate license based on past sales of noninfringing products; dissent says expert’s hypothetical negotiation reflected real world concerns and supported award.

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