Court Upholds Ruling Reversing Jury Verdict and Fee Award Against Champion
Press release from the issuing company
HUNTINGTON, W.Va., June 23 -- Champion Industries, Inc. was advised on June 22, 2004 that the Court of Appeals of the State of Mississippi has upheld its February 3, 2004 reversal of a judgment and jury verdict rendered February 16, 2002 against the Company in a civil action brought in state court in Jackson, Mississippi and its remand of the case for new trial.
The plaintiff in this civil action had asserted that the Company and its Dallas Printing Company, Inc. subsidiary had engaged in unfair competition and other wrongful acts in hiring certain of its employees. The jury awarded the plaintiff $1,745,000 in actual damages and $750,000 in punitive damages.
On March 1, 2002, the plaintiff in the civil action filed a motion for attorney's fees and costs in the amount of $889,401. On July 16, 2002, the court entered an order granting plaintiff $645,119 in attorney fees and expenses, and ordered that interest on the amount of the jury award accrue from February 22, 2002.
If the Company is not ultimately successful on appeal, Mississippi law provides that it is liable for an additional 15% of the total award.
The effect of the appeals court orders of February 3, 2004 and June 22, 2004 is to negate the lower court's award of damages and attorneys fees previously granted against the Company, and grant a new trial on plaintiff's claims.
Plaintiff has 14 days from June 22, 2004 to file a petition for writ of certiorari or to file a motion seeking additional time to prepare such writ, for review of this latest ruling by the Mississippi Supreme Court. The Company will have 7 days to respond to such a petition.
Champion is a commercial printer, business forms manufacturer and office products and office furniture supplier in regional markets east of the Mississippi. Champion serves its customers through the following companies/divisions: Chapman Printing (West Virginia and Kentucky), Stationers, Champion Clarksburg, Capitol Business Interiors, Garrison Brewer, Carolina Cut Sheets and Champion Morgantown (West Virginia), The Merten Company (Ohio), Smith & Butterfield (Indiana and Kentucky), Bourque Printing, Upton Printing, Transdata Systems and Diez Business Machines (Louisiana), Dallas Printing (Mississippi), U.S. Tag (West Virginia), Interform Solutions and Consolidated Graphic Communications (Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey), Donihe Graphics (Tennessee) and Blue Ridge Printing (North Carolina and Tennessee).
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