Walmart found liable on three claims in lawsuit filed by Zest Labs, Inc.
Jury unanimously awards Zest Labs, Inc. $115 million in damages
Austin, Texas – April 12, 2021 –Williams Simons & Landis PLLC won a $115 million jury verdict against Walmart Inc., the world’s largest company, on behalf of clients Zest Labs, Inc., and Ecoark Holdings, Inc.
On Friday, April 9, 2021, a federal jury in Little Rock found Walmart liable for willfully and maliciously misappropriating Zest Labs’ trade secrets, and for Walmart’s breach of the parties’ written non-disclosure agreement. The jury awarded $50 million in punitive damages for Walmart’s willful and malicious conduct, in addition to compensatory damages of $60 million for misappropriation of trade secrets and $5 million for breach of the parties’ non-disclosure agreement. The total verdict, $115 million, is the largest IP verdict ever against Walmart.
Walmart was represented by two of the largest firms in the country.
“As the trial progressed it was clear that Walmart gained access to and used Zest’s technology,” said WSL Partner Michael Simons, lead counsel for Zest and Ecoark. “The jury was exceptionally attentive and worked very hard to consider all the facts in this case. Our client is pleased with the verdict.”
Peter Mehring, Founder and CEO of Zest Labs made the following comment after the verdict: “The WSL team excels at distilling complex technology and business relationships into a compelling and winning strategy. The WSL trial preparation and delivery are second to none, allowing us to succeed against larger and better funded opposition. WSL delivered from start to finish in a very difficult case.”
Randy May, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ecoark, added: “We knew this lawsuit would be difficult and we did not file it lightly. We needed lawyers that understood the case and our technology. We are happy that we had our day in court and that the jury found that Walmart misappropriated our trade secrets and breached the agreement between the parties.
The WSL trial team included attorneys Michael Simons, Todd Landis, Fred I. Williams, Jonathan Hardt, John Wittenzellner, Sarah Tishler, and Robert Rhodes, with Scott Richardson of McDaniel Wolff & Benca as local counsel. The trial team was also supported by paralegal Adam Fitzgerald and firm administrator Rose Sullivan.
Williams Simons & Landis PLLC is an IP litigation boutique headquartered in Austin, with lawyers in Texas, New York, Pennsylvania and Colorado. After decades of litigating complex IP disputes at some of the largest law firms in the country, the founding partners created WSL to provide clients an innovative team of lawyers dedicated to achieving client goals in courtrooms across the country. WSL trial lawyers bring a unique mix of technical expertise and trial experience that produces results like Friday’s verdict. https://www.wsltrial.com/