MADISON, Wis. and MILWAUKEE and MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court affirmed a judgment in favor of NewGen for $1.48 million in damages against Safe Cig. On September 7, 2016 Circuit Court Judges M. Margaret McKeown and Sandra S. Ikuta and District Court Judge Robert W. Pratt upheld the award granted by the United States District Court for the Central District of California but dismissed NewGen's cross-appeal for additional damages. NewGen's attorneys at DeWitt Ross & Stevens were very pleased with the award. "After four long years of contentious litigation, we are very pleased that the trial court's decision was upheld," said Harry Van Camp of DeWitt.
Safe Cig hired NewGen to help market its electronic cigarettes online. As outlined in two contracts, an Affiliate Agreement and a Consulting Agreement, Safe Cig was to pay NewGen a 20% commission on all sales resulting from the referrals NewGen's online promotions generated. In addition, Safe Cig was to grant NewGen access to Safe Cig's sales records to verify commissions paid, pay NewGen for not working with any Safe Cig competitor, and pay New Gen for the actual marketing and business consulting services. NewGen filed a suit claiming Safe Cig did not uphold their contractual obligations. The district court awarded NewGen $1,483,075.84 in damages.
Safe Cig then filed two appeals claiming the damages were excessive and NewGen failed to plead diversity jurisdiction in its original complaint and prove jurisdiction prior to entry of the default judgment. NewGen, in turn, filed an amended complaint alleging that the parties were of diverse citizenship. Safe Cig then filed an answer challenging the allegations based on Safe Cig's purported lack of knowledge and information about the citizenship of its members.
The district court struck down most of Safe Cig's answers as "immaterial or impertinent" and accepted NewGen's amended allegations of diversity citizenship under 28 U.S.C. 1653 to cure the defective allegations of diversity jurisdiction, upholding the original district court's award.
Harry Van Camp, with the assistance of Deborah C. Meiners, J. Wesley Webendorfer and Susan George, represented NewGen throughout the litigation. The case was argued by Harry Van Camp in the Court of Appeals on behalf of NewGen.
DeWitt is one of the ten largest law firms based in Wisconsin. It has more than 120 attorneys practicing in Madison and Metropolitan Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, in a variety of legal areas and has the experience to service clients of all scopes and sizes. The firm is known for its work in several areas, including corporate law, employment, environmental, employee benefits, government relations, health care, immigration, international, litigation, real estate, tax, estate planning, family law, personal injury, intellectual property, patents, trademarks and copyright law.
More information is available at www.dewittross.com.
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