In a breach of contract suit filed by authorized dealers of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), dealers alleged that FCA falsified sales figures to artificially inflate the value of the company’s shares with the purpose of supporting their claim of unbroken year-to-year sales streak. FCA allegedly offered discriminatory allocations to dealers in return for their agreements to report unsold vehicles as sold to help inflate monthly sales figures. This action in essence “stacked the deck” against plaintiff dealers. The false sales figures were used to subsidize dealers that were in competition with plaintiffs. Infotech Consulting was hired by plaintiffs to perform a damages analysis to determine whether FCA’s system of allocation unfairly discriminated against plaintiffs in favor of competitor dealers, and, if so, the loss of sales resulting from this behavior. Infotech Consulting obtained data from 62 FCA dealers on vehicle sales, planning potential, discretionary allocation, and regular allocation. Our expert analysis determined that there was, in fact, discrimination that resulted in lost sales and commensurate lost profits to select FCA dealers. With help from Infotech Consulting, plaintiffs were able to secure a favorable undisclosed settlement.
Napleton’s Arlington Heights Motors, Inc., et al. v. FCA US, LLC, et al., Case No. 1:16-cv-0403 (US District Court for the N.D. of Illinois)
The Michael Titze Company purchased an outparcel in front of a shopping mall in Pensacola, Florida. Unbeknownst to Titze, this property was subject to restrictive covenants that required Titze to obtain permission from Simon (owner of the shopping mall) for any construction or improvement to the property and restricted Titze from improving the property in any manner that would conflict with the interests of or detract from the shopping mall. In 2003, Titze leased a portion of the property to Lamar to install a billboard, without seeking approval from Simon. Simon wrote Titze a letter stating that the proposed billboard violated the operating agreement. Titze then requested Lamar not to proceed with the billboard installation, thereby cancelling their agreement. A few months later Simon and Lamar executed subleases for Lamar to install billboards on all Simon’s Properties. Titze filed suit against Simon and Lamar on seven grounds, including breach of contract and tortious interference.
Infotech was hired by Defendant, Simon Property Group, Inc to calculate any economic damages arising from the alleged wrongdoing of the Defendants. Using standard econometric methods, Infotech Consulting and Dr. McClave analyzed historical billboard placements in addition to the contractual agreement between Titze and Lamar. Dr. McClave’s analysis was used to rebut Plaintiff’s expert’s damage analysis. Infotech’s client never had to pay damages in this suit as Defendant’s were granted summary judgement which was affirmed on appeal.
The Michael Titze Company Inc. v. Simon Property Group, Inc., et al, No. 10-12742 (11th Cir. 2010)