(Santa Ana, California). When two companies both catering to the rich and famous of Orange County tried to merge, and failed, litigation was bound to ensue. Thankfully, for one of the companies, Rebecca Gabroy was the trial lawyer.
Gabroy, partner in WSHB's Orange County office, navigated with ease this complex dispute which was highly charged with allegations of fraud, breach of contract, defamation and contractual interference laced with punitive damage claims. Over the course of an eight-week trial, Gabroy dissected the case and the basis, or lack thereof, for the plaintiff’s six million dollar demand. In the end, the plaintiff accepted a dismissal and cost waiver, and walked away empty-handed after years of contentious litigation.
“I’m thrilled for our client, and thankful we stood firm in our position that the plaintiff was entitled to nothing,” said Gabroy. “It’s understandable when two businesses are unable to complete a complex merger, particularly when they are in the same industry in a small and exclusive community and dealing with multi-million dollar business deals, but the facts bore out there was no basis for the huge demands and punitive damages.”
Known for her legal prowess handling complex business litigation matters, Gabroy enjoyed the challenge associated with the allegations of defamation and business interference following the failed merger. Plaintiffs alleged nine causes of action including defamation, breach of contract, fraud, contractual interference, and punitive damages. Throughout the litigation, Plaintiff demanded approximately $6 million dollars to settle the case. The contract at issue also had a prevailing party clause, which Plaintiff was hoping to cash in on. After two failed mediations, two Mandatory Settlement Conferences and many late night calls with the discovery referee, Plaintiff’s demand prior to trial dropped to $4.6 million dollars.
After an eight-week trial, many weekend mini mediations throughout trial, and on the morning of the Judge issuing his decision, Plaintiffs dropped their multi-million dollar demand and agreed to WSHB’s proposal of Plaintiffs dismissing the case with prejudice in exchange for a waiver of costs. Plaintiffs walked away with zero dollars after incurring close to a million dollars in attorneys fees.
“This amazing result could not have been reached without the unending support and wise words of my partner Sam McDermott, the incredible help from Lisa Porter my paralegal who evaluated and sorted through over 200,000 pages of e-discovery and Chris Leong, my assistant who helped on every aspect of this matter and handled the extensive discovery and pre-trial documents,” said Gabroy. “Trial work truly takes a village to support the final result, and I’m thankful we have a powerful firm of talented, smart minds that is always available and works so well collaboratively. I cannot express how appreciative I am to work with such an amazing team at WSHB.” And with a smile on her face, Gabroy added, “it isn’t every day that justice is served, however, this time I can say without a doubt that justice was truly served. Our client is ecstatic with this result and we couldn’t be happier for them.”