United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
O'Grady United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on Defendants Lailuma Ehson and
Illusion Day Spa's Motion for New Trial or in the
Alternative, a Remittitur, Dkt. No. 147, and Plaintiff Hair
Club for Men's ("Hair Club") Motion for
Permanent Injunction. Dkt. No. 149. For the reasons discussed
below, Defendants' Motion for New Trial or Remittitur is
GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART and Plaintiffs Motion for
Permament Injunction is GRANTED.
factual background of this case has been well documented in
the Court's previous orders and only facts relevant for
these Motions are repeated here. See, e.g., Dkt. No.
113. The jury entered a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff on
all counts on September 27, 2016. The special verdict form
awarded Plaintiff $156, 096 on the Breach of Contract Claim
("Count 1") and awarded $258, 330 for each of
Plaintiff s Misappropriation of Trade Secrets claim
("Count 2"), wrongful interference with contract
claim ("Count 3"), and Breach of Fiduciary Duty
claims ("Count 6"). The Jury also responded
"Yes" to the question whether "any of the
answers to Question 1, 3, 5, or 6 [are]
timely moved for a new trial, or in the alternative a
remittitur, alleging that the total damage award of $934, 086
exceeds the amount requested by Plaintiff at trial of $511,
090 and was contrary to the evidence. Plaintiff has filed an
objection to this motion and moved for a permanent injunction
to enforce its non-compete rights under its contract with
Defendant, Lailuma Ehson. Defendants have not objected to the
permanent injunction per se but seek modification of the
duration and scope of the injunctive relief. The matter was
fully briefed by the parties and the Court heard arguments on
November 4, 2016.
Rule 59 - Motion for New Trial or Remittur
Rule 59(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a court
may order a new trial nisi remittitur if it 'concludes
that a jury award of compensatory damages is
excessive.'" Jones v. Southpeak Interactive
Corp. of Delaware, 111 F.3d 658, 672 (4th Cir. 2015)
(quoting Shane v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 510
F.3d 495, 502 (4th Cir. 2007)). "A new trial will be
granted if '(1) the verdict is against the clear weight
of the evidence, or (2) is based upon evidence which is
false, or (3) will result in a miscarriage of justice, even
though there may be substantial evidence which would prevent
the direction of a verdict."' Cline v. Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc., 144F.3d294, 301 (4th Cir. 1998) (quoting
Atlas Food Sys. &Servs., Inc. v. Crane Nat'l
Vendors, Inc., 99 F.3d 587, 594 (4th Cir. 1996)).
is no specific standard for remittitur under the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, but it is well established that a
remittitur should be ordered when a jury award is so
excessive that it will result in a miscarriage of justice.
Cline, 144 F.3d at 305. The decision as to whether
damages are excessive is "entrusted to the sound
discretion of the district court." Robles v. Prince
George's Cty., Md, 302 F.3d 262, 271 (4th Cir.
plaintiff seeking a permanent injunction must satisfy a
four-factor test before the court may grant this type of
relief. eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., 547 U.S.
388, 391 (2006). In order to prevail, a plaintiff must show:
(1) it has suffered an irreparable injury; (2) legal remedies
are inadequate to compensate for that injury; (3) after
balancing the hardships of the plaintiff and defendant, a
remedy in equity is necessary; and (4) that the public
interest would not be harmed by a permanent injunction.
Court first considers the appropriateness of a remittitur or
modification to the damages award before turning to scope of
the permanent injunction.