Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Jury Verdict

Richmond, Virginia (January 29, 2018): The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a jury verdict secured by Donovan & Rainie, LLC following oral argument before Judges Keenan, Niemeyer and Traxler.

Following a jury trial in favor of its client Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company, Defendants filed an appeal questioning whether the district court committed errors of law by (i) dismissing a claim for breach of contract; (ii) finding that the corporate Defendant had not established damages sufficient to allow its tortious interference counterclaim to proceed to the jury; and (iii) denying a motion for judgment as a matter of law, dismissing certain contract and fraud claims, before they were sent to the jury. Defendants also questioned whether the district court abused its discretion when it (i) provided over objection special jury instructions and verdict sheets; (ii) denied a Motion in Limine to exclude or limit expert testimony; and (iii) allowed a judgment for unjust enrichment where the jury made no finding of fraud, and certain obligations and performance were specified in an express written contract.

The appeals court upheld the lower court’s verdict in all respects. The appeals court determined that none of the errors charged to the district court warranted reversal, and that based on the evidence presented, the jury was justified in concluding, as a factual matter, that two of three Defendants were unjustly enriched. The appeals court also determined that the district court correctly concluded that Defendant failed to present sufficient evidence of damages in connection with its tortious interference counterclaim, and that the Plaintiff was entitled, by the terms of the agreement between the parties, to accelerate repayment of the loan, as it did.

The court’s opinion can be found here: Fourth Circuit – 2018-1-29

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