Arnold & Clifford Attorneys Win $17.4 Million Jury Verdict
An Arnold & Clifford trial team consisting of James E. Arnold, Damion M. Clifford, and Gerhardt “Gage” Gosnell II won a jury verdict in excess of $17 million for their client. The jury trial in Richland County, Ohio was the culmination of over three years of litigation.
The client was the former president of two related oil and gas companies. When the client left the companies in December 2015, an agreement was signed which stated, should the companies be sold within the next five years, the former president would be treated as a 20 percent owner of the companies at the time of the sale. The oil and gas companies were sold in January 2018. Yet, the oil and gas companies refused to pay the former president consistent with the terms of the separation agreement.
Arnold & Clifford sued the oil and gas companies for breach of contract claiming that the former president was entitled to 20 percent of the proceeds from the 2018 sale.
In October 2020, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the former president and set a hearing before a jury to determine 20 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the oil and gas companies. At the trial, the Arnold & Clifford team convinced the jury to award the former president 20 percent of the amounts paid at the closing of the sale of the companies, plus additional amounts later paid to the owners of the companies, including various post-closing adjustments and amounts set aside in escrow. The jury also rejected the defense’s arguments that various adjustments and expenses should be deducted from the total sale proceeds.
After the jury verdict, Arnold & Clifford successfully argued that the former president was also entitled to interest on the jury verdict. After more briefing and a hearing before a magistrate, the trial court awarded the former president an additional $2,830,686.97 in prejudgment interest, bringing the total judgment to $20,302,136.80.
“It is always gratifying to win a jury verdict on behalf of a client, especially one of this size,” said Mr. Arnold “but this verdict is particularly meaningful given that it was the culmination of years of litigation and a committed defense.” “At the end of the day, we always knew that if the jury heard the evidence and the arguments presented by our team, they would be persuaded to award a verdict of this magnitude.”