ADA Motors, Inc. v. Butler
August 18, 2014
Court of Appeals of the State of Washington, Div. I
According to a Washington state appeals court, once a plaintiff in a trade secrets misappropriation case has established sales, the burden then shifts to the defendant to establish what portion of those sales were not attributable to the misappropriated trade secret.
The appeals court overturned a jury's finding of no damage from the misappropriation on the grounds that the jury instructions had misstated the law, and in doing so had improperly shifted the burden of proof from the defendant to the plaintiff.
The instruction, the appeals court held, was a “misstatement of law” given that “the plaintiff's initial burden is to prove only ‘sales,' not ‘damages from sales,' before the burden shifts to the defendant.”
ADA Motors, INC.
David Butler, et al.