HOUSTON – Lyons & Simmons partner Jeff Nobles was featured in a March 1 Law360 article detailing oral arguments before the Supreme Court of Texas in Horizon Health Corp. v. Acadia Healthcare Co., Inc., where he stressed that a lower appellate court ruling should stand because evidence failed to support Horizon’s argument that it had lost millions in future profits when a group of executives left to form Acadia.
Writes Law360 (subscription required):
Arguing for the Acadia parties, Jeff Nobles of Lyons & Simmons LLP said there’s no evidence backing the assertion Horizon missed out on millions in future lost profits, saying the company’s expert and principal witnesses admitted that Horizon did not lose a single customer to Acadia. Horizon’s sales figures also went up after the executive team left, he said.
“It’s not true we’ve taken their pie,” Nobles said. “We’ve built a better pie. We made it ourselves.”
Horizon, which manages psychiatric services for hospitals, is seeking to reinstate a 2012 $4.2 million verdict for loss of future profits and punitive damages against Acadia after five executives left the company to form a psychiatric hospital management services subsidiary of Acadia. The case reached the Texas Supreme Court after a lower appellate court held that witness testimony did not support Horizon’s assertions that competition from Acadia had cut into the company’s profits. As Justice Paul Green noted, however, Horizon continued to “meet its sales targets even after the executives left,” wrote Law360 reporter Jess Krochtengel.
As the justices turned to a review of punitive damages, Mr. Nobles pointed to both the Texas and U.S. Supreme Court application of exacting review because appellate courts “are the only backstop against a punitive damages award that’s too high,” according to the article.
A decision in the case Horizon Health Corp. v. Acadia Healthcare Co., Inc., et al., case number 15-0819 is expected later this year.
Lyons & Simmons, LLP, has offices in Dallas and Houston and maintains a reputation as one of the state’s premier trial boutique firms. Its lawyers routinely handle high-stakes cases of all kinds, including business disputes, products liability, personal injury, wrongful death, professional liability, real estate, securities, and construction cases.
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