The Sherwin-Williams Company v. JB Collision Services, Inc. et al

Filing 325

ORDER denying 316 Motion for New Trial on Damages and denying 317 Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law. Sherwin-Williams' motion to further reduce the Body Shop Defendants' damages award is denied. Signed by Judge Larry Alan Burns on 9/19/16. (kas)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 THE SHERWIN-WILLIAMS COMPANY, CASE NO. 13cv1946-LAB (WVG) 12 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL ON DAMAGES (DOC. NO. 316) AND MOTION FOR JUDGMENT AS A MATTER OF LAW (DOC. NO. 317) Plaintiff, 13 14 vs. JB COLLISION SERVICES, INC. et al., 15 Defendants. 16 17 18 The Court granted in part and denied in part Sherwin-Williams’ motion for a judgment 19 as a matter of law, reducing the damages award on the Body Shop Defendants’ claims to 20 $634,357.07. 21 evidence was insufficient as a matter of law. (Id. at 15–17.) So the Court calculated their 22 maximum possible damages by adding $106,357.07 in damages for unpaid warranty claims, 23 $320,000 attributable to 100 alleged vehicle “re-dos” (i.e., vehicles that allegedly needed to 24 be repainted due to problems with Sherwin-Williams’ paint), and $208,000 attributable to 65 25 vehicles that were allegedly waiting in the queue to be repaired. (Id. at 17.) The Body Shop 26 Defendants now move for a new trial on damages. (Docket no. 316.) And Sherwin-Williams 27 moves to further reduce the Body Shop Defendants’ damages award, arguing that the Court 28 shouldn’t have included the re-dos in calculating damages. (Docket no. 317.) (Docket no. 311.) The Body Shop Defendants’ prospective damages -1- 13cv1946 1 The Body Shop Defendants’ Motion for a New Trial on Damages 2 The Body Shop Defendants’ motion for a new trial on damages (Docket no. 316) is 3 DENIED for the reasons stated in the order on Sherwin-Williams’ motion for a judgment as 4 a matter of law. (Docket no. 311.) Central Office Telephone, Inc. v. American Telephone 5 & Telegraph Co., 108 F.3d 981 (9th Cir. 1997) holds that a court doesn’t need to offer the 6 option of a new trial when damages are reduced pursuant to a judgment as a matter of law. 7 Id. at 993 (reversed on other grounds). And the Body Shop Defendants’ prospective 8 damages evidence is legally insufficient under Behr v. Redmond, 193 Cal. App. 4th 517, 533 9 (2011) and Green Wood Indus. Co. v. Forceman Int’l Dev. Grp., Inc., 156 Cal. App. 4th 766, 10 778 (2007). Indeed, if the Court held a second trial, and the jury awarded the Body Shop 11 Defendants more than $634,357.07, the recovery would just be reduced again pursuant to 12 Behr and Green Wood.1 13 Sherwin-Williams’ Motion to Reduce the Body Shop Defendants’ Award 14 Sherwin-Williams contends that the Court erred by including costs associated with 15 alleged re-dos when calculating the Body Shop Defendants’ damages. (Docket no. 317.) 16 They argue that it isn’t fair for the Body Shop Defendants to recover these damages because 17 they affirmed during discovery and in pretrial motions that they were “not seek[ing] damages 18 for the undocumented, previously performed re-dos that took place.” (Id. (citing Docket nos. 19 45 at 7 and 223 at 2).) This motion poses a tough question; Sherwin-Williams may have 20 justifiably relied on the Body Shop Defendants’ representations that they weren’t seeking 21 damages related to the re-dos. But there was sufficient trial evidence to establish that the 22 Body Shop Defendants suffered damages as a result of re-dos. And the Court has an 23 obligation when reducing a damages award under Fed. R. Civ. P. 50 to award the maximum 24 /// 25 /// 26 27 28 1 The Court in its judgment as a matter of law order (and Sherwin-Williams in its briefing) relied heavily on Green Wood. (See, e.g., Docket nos. 311 at 15 and 319 at 11.) The Body Shop Defendants still haven’t attempted to distinguish it. Indeed, they don’t even address it. -2- 13cv1946 1 amount supported by the evidence in the record. Integra Lifesciences I, Ltd. v. Merck KgaA, 2 2004 WL 2284001, at *12 (S.D. Cal. Sept. 7, 2004). Sherwin-Williams’ motion to further 3 reduce the Body Shop Defendants’ damages award is DENIED. 4 5 IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: September 19, 2016 6 7 HONORABLE LARRY ALAN BURNS United States District Judge 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -3- 13cv1946

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