A recent half-million-dollar jury verdict was a far cry from the demand and damages a web developer lodged against the Knights of Columbus.
On Sept. 12, a federal jury in Denver returned a verdict finding the Knights breached a contract with List Interactive, a Colorado-based web developer doing business as UKnight, and awarded the latter $500,000. But the award is a fraction of the $100 million damages demand, and the jury found against UKnight on its trade secrets theft and business interference claims against the fraternal order.
Underscoring the two-and-a-half-year litigation and the 12-day trial were UKnight’s allegations that the Knights inflated its membership numbers to keep its life insurance business afloat. UKnight, which developed a web platform for the order to use for the business, claimed the Knights broke off vendor relations and stole its trade secrets to keep its allegedly fraudulent membership practices under wraps. While UKnight used these allegations to argue its business-related claims, the jury did not have any fraud claims before it, and the Knights forcefully denied inflating membership numbers.
The Knights and its trial counsel are “very pleased” with the verdict, said Ed Gleason, a trial attorney representing the Knights who is a Colorado Springs-based partner at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie.
“Our position from the start is that this was a garden-variety breach of contract claim,” Gleason said. “In the end that’s how the jury saw it as well.”
To read the rest of this story and other complete articles featured in the Sept. 23, 2019 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.