CORBIS CORPORATION v. STONE
Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One.
Filed: March 26, 2012.
Corbis moves pursuant to CR 50 to reduce the damage award to $1 million; alternatively, Corbis moves for a new trial under CR 59, unless InfoFlows consents to remit the verdict to $1 million. Essentially, Corbis relies on section 13(c) of the Development Agreement that sets forth how InfoFlows would be paid in the event Corbis terminated the contract without cause.
. . .
The difficulty with Corbis' CR 50 argument is that it was not made prior to instructing the jury — indeed, its $1 million theory was never argued; Corbis did not except to the jury instructions on this basis; Corbis actually proposed "benefit of the bargain" fraud damage instructions, and proposed a verdict form with separate lines for contract and fraud damages.
We respectfully disagree with the trial court on this issue. As is described above, Corbis did, in fact, raise these concerns before the jury was instructed. Not only that, but InfoFlows indicated it understood Corbis' concerns, and suggested that the trial court handle any discrepancy after the jury verdict:
Mr. Quackenbush: I delivered this — deliverables that you should have accepted them, and pay me what I was owed. In other words, I should have gotten the benefit of the bargain. There were also — it also seems to me like what we're setting up here is a potential for double recovery, because you can't have both. You can't have the damages for accepting the contract and performing under it and then say, well, but I wouldn't have accepted the contract, and I would have had other contracts or I would have had better business deals, et cetera. Those two are mutually exclusive. It seems like what we're setting up here is potential for double recovery. I don't see how you could avoid that.
If you say the value of business opportunities lost, right What if the jury says, yes, Corbis breached the contract, and InfoFlows is owed a million dollars. Then there is no business opportunity lost. The business opportunity is realized, right?
The Court: Right.