DALLAS –– Relying on evidence that included “smoking gun” documents, attorneys from Fish & Richardson won a $7.12 million verdict and successfully defended nearly $28 million in counterclaims for Dallas-based Worldwide Express Operations in a Texas lawsuit against the U.S. division of international transportation and shipping conglomerate DHL Express.

In the lawsuit, DHL Express (USA) Inc. was charged with deliberately misleading Worldwide Express and its franchisees about DHL’s plans to discontinue domestic shipping operations. 

DHL announced plans to abandon U.S. shipping operations in November 2008, less than four weeks after amending its contract with Worldwide Express. Evidence in the case included a December 2007 internal memo about “reseller” customers like Worldwide Express where a DHL vice president told fellow executives “. . . any major change in our offering destroys [the resellers] entire business model.”

Jurors also heard how DHL further violated the contract by soliciting business from Worldwide Express customers. In another email, the vice president of customer service and channel sales described DHL’s intentions “. . . to retain, steal and acquire new business.”

In the June 2, 2011, verdict in Dallas County’s 192nd District Court, jurors found that DHL fraudulently induced Worldwide Express to amend the contract, awarding $5.1 million for past and future lost profits. DHL also was found liable for $2.02 million in damages for trade secret misappropriation. Jurors rejected DHL’s request for $28 million in damages after finding that Worldwide Express did not breach a payment guarantee. The case is Worldwide Express Operations LLC, et al. v. DHL Express (USA) Inc., No. DC-08-15314. 

The Fish & Richardson team representing Worldwide Express included lead trial counsel and firm principal Tom Melsheimer, firm principals Steve Stodghill, Geoffrey Harper, and Timothy Devlin, and associates Scott C. Thomas and John C.C. Sanders Jr.

Fish & Richardson is a leading global law firm with more than 350 attorneys and technology specialists practicing intellectual property strategy and counseling, intellectual property litigation, and business litigation. For more information, visit www.fr.com