Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP has won a complete defense verdict for client Enagic USA Inc., a leading manufacturer and distributor of water ionizers, in a lawsuit where the plaintiffs sought more than $80 million in alleged damages.
In a verdict issued Oct. 7, 2013, in Dallas County District Court, jurors rejected all claims filed against Enagic by plaintiffs Vollara LLC and DBG Group Investments LLC. Enagic faced claims of misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, tortious interference and business disparagement during the demanding three-week trial, which followed nearly three years of litigation.
"The plaintiffs in this case were seeking damages equal to an entire year of sales for Enagic," said Takashi Fukuda, Enagic's Director of Nation Sales. "Gardere protected us from an adverse verdict that could have really damaged our company."
Enagic has promoted health, wellness and quality of life internationally by offering Kangen Water® filtration systems since 1974. In the rapidly expanding market for ionized alkaline water and related technologies, Enagic is one of the only water purification and ionization companies in the world to carry four distinct certifications from the Water Quality Association, the Illinois-based trade association representing the U.S. water treatment industry.
In addition to winning the no-liability verdict for Enagic, Gardere's trial team also obtained a directed verdict for the company on all claims asserted by another plaintiff in the same lawsuit.
"This case was critical for our company, and we could not have asked more of our legal team," says Linda Choi, General Counsel of Enagic USA. "The team understood our business and did an excellent job of relaying our story to both judge and jury. We are extremely pleased with the outcome."
Enagic was represented by Gardere Trial Attorneys Dwight M. Francis, Joe B. Harrison and Aimee Cook Oleson.
"We are exceptionally proud of our team's work handling the complex legal and evidentiary issues and numerous hostile witnesses in this multifaceted case," says Mr. Francis. "The parties greatly appreciate the time, effort and sacrifice it took for the jury to work through the evidence in order to reach a verdict. It is a pleasure to work with Enagic and to help them win this important trial."