Waiver, more waiver, and damages — UPDATED

A business dispute about a telephone service provider’s billing system leads to 2 holdings of broad interest, one procedural and the other substantive:

1A.  Waiver.  “Although [defendant] moved for a directed verdict at the close of evidence, it did not argue in its motion that the Supply Contract was unenforceable.”  Accordingly, under Fed. R. Civ. 50(b), that argument could not be raised post-trial.  (Here, in fact, because defendant took the opposite position about the contract in the directed verdict motion, judicial estoppel also barred the later argument.)

1B.  Waiver of Waiver.  When defendant relied on a certain letter agreement in its Rule 50(b) motion, and plaintiff “did not argue waiver in its response . . . [plaintiff] has forfeited its right to raise the waiver issue on appeal.”

2.  Speculative damages.  A “strained business relationship” between the parties supported a holding that plaintiff’s $10 million lost profits award, assuming six years of business dealings, was not proven with “reasonable certainty.”  Transverse LLC v. Iowa Wireless Services, LLC, No. 13-51098 (revised Aug. 5, 2015, unpublished).

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