Litigation Team Wins $15 Million Jury Verdict for Private Equity Investors in Seven-Week Manhattan Trial
On May 17, after a seven-week jury trial in state court in Manhattan, a Ropes & Gray team led by senior counsel Jerome Katz (New York) secured a $15 million verdict for our client, Casita, L.P., an investor in various private equity funds.
Casita’s lawsuit, which was filed derivatively on behalf of about two dozen investors in a private equity fund called MapleWood Equity Partners (Offshore) Ltd., alleged that the defendant fund manager breached his fiduciary duty to the investors in connection with investments in two portfolio companies, AMC Computer Corp. and Parts Depot, Inc. The case was tried under the law of the Cayman Islands, where the Offshore Fund was incorporated.
The jury issued a split decision. On the AMC Computer Corp. portion of the case, where our client sought to recover $7.5 million on behalf of the investors, the jury found against Casita on an issue of fact relating to the statute of limitations, and therefore did not reach the merits. On the higher-value Parts Depot portion of the case, the jury found in Casita’s favor and awarded the full amount of damages that were sought by Ropes & Gray’s attorneys. The damages award is exclusive of pre-judgment interest, which Ropes & Gray’s attorneys believe dates back more than ten years, and that could result in a doubling of the amount of the judgment.
In addition to senior counsel Jerome Katz, the trial team included associate Julian Helisek, litigation & enforcement associate Kendall Scott (Chicago), litigation paralegal specialist Drago Gregov (Silicon Valley), and litigation paralegal Charles D. Brustman (New York). Also assisting were recently retired partner William Sussman (New York), legal executive assistant Dawnne Jones (New York), managing clerk Paul Lang (New York), and litigation paralegal Peggy Burns (New York).