A DIY Network celebrity accused Klein & Wilson‘s client of violating Civil Code section 3344 by using his image without authorization to sell products. The celebrity’s expert opined that the celebrity’s damages were not less than $16 million, representing all the sales Klein & Wilson‘s client made during the period at issue. Klein & Wilson filed a motion (which the court heard right before picking a jury) asking the court to exclude the expert because his testimony was based on inaccurate assumptions instead of reliable data. The court granted the motion, gutting plaintiff’s case. Recognizing an adverse jury verdict was inevitable, plaintiff dismissed the case just as the court was calling prospective jurors to the courtroom.
Klein & Wilson‘s lead trial lawyer, Mark Wilson said, “My firm was flattered that Cates Peterson asked us to take the lead on this trial and that the court had the courage to knock out a frivolous damage claim prior to selecting a jury. ‘Wishful thinking’ is not a strategy for calculating damages, but that is what the plaintiff’s expert did here. It’s good to know that some courts are willing to remove key issues from jury trials when there is no evidence supporting them.”