The Citri-Lite Company v. Cott Beverages, Inc.

Analysis Group client Cott Beverages, Inc., received a favorable decision in a breach of contract suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The Citri-Lite Company alleged that Cott had breached the terms of a licensing agreement by failing to promote Citri-Lite's Slim-Lite product in a commercially reasonable manner. Academic affiliate Professor Randolph Bucklin, of UCLA's Anderson School, analyzed the extent and effectiveness of Cott's marketing activities, and Managing Principal Jeffrey Kinrich analyzed Citri-Lite's damages claims. Both were supported by a team that included Vice President Peter Simon. The team was retained by Scheper Kim & Harris, LLP.

Following an eight-day bench trial, Judge Oliver W. Wanger found for the defendant, noting in his decision that "Cott … performed all terms, covenants, and conditions of the licensing agreement on its part to be performed. There was no breach." Regarding the experts who testified in the case, Judge Wanger found that the plaintiff's expert's opinions, which were " … not founded in modern marketing science, economics, or quantifiable approaches" were less persuasive than Mr. Bucklin's opinions.

Since the court found no liability, the damages issue was never addressed. Consistent with the view expressed by Mr. Kinrich, however, the court did state that "there was neither a legal or factual basis for projecting lost profits damages over future years."

The plaintiff has appealed the decision.

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