Appellate Win for Deans & Lyons, LLP

Our firm recently went to court on behalf of Acadia Healthcare Co. Inc., which was appealing a decision made be a previous court ruling in a non-compete dispute between Acadia Healthcare and Horizon Health Corp. In 2012, a jury awarded $4.2 million in future lost profits, $1.75 million in punitive damages, $900,000 for Horizon’s legal fees, $50,000 for stolen trade secrets, and $5,000 for fraudulent reimbursements.

In appellate court in 2015, the lost profits award was reversed, but the court affirmed the actual damages finding, reduced the punitive damages award to $1.1 million and remanded for a new trial on attorneys’ fees.

Horizon attempted an appeal to the high court to restore the lost profits and original punitive damages awards. Its attorneys argued objective evidence supported its expert testimony about losses after the executive team, who joined the Acadia subsidiary, left.

However, the Texas Supreme Court held there was insufficient evidence to support a jury’s $4.2 million lost profits award, and the punitive damages award was too high in light of the reduced actual damages. The justices determined that though the individual executives acted with malice, the figure awarded was unreasonable because their conduct was not “reprehensible” under a five-factor test. Likewise, the executives only caused purely economic harm, didn’t show a reckless disregard for the health or safety of others, were not repeat offenders, and Horizon continued to thrive despite their actions.

One of our attorneys, Jeff Nobles, indicated the next step in the litigation would be for the lower appellate court to consider Acadia’s request for a significant reduction in its punitive damages award. He hopes to conclude the case as efficiently and quickly as possible.

If you require help appealing a court decision, don’t hesitate to call us. Our experienced Dallas appeals attorneys have represented giant, international corporations and private citizens in litigation. We also work across a wide range of industries and practice areas. Our top-rated lawyers listen to our clients’ needs and goals and use our skill to accomplish them. Let us see what we can do for you. Contact us at (844) 297-8898 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation today.

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