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April 2020

Gordon & Rees Win Recognized As the Top Consumer Protection Verdict in 2019 by Law.com and Connecticut Law Tribune

Law.com and the Connecticut Law Tribune recognized Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani for the number one consumer protection verdict in New England Top Verdicts & Settlements 2019 issue. The publication’s annual list highlights the largest and most significant verdicts and settlements in New England for the year. The jury verdict obtained by Jay Gregory, Tara Lynch, and Stephen Orlando in Nemirovsky v. Daikin North America LLC was recognized as the top consumer protection verdict in New England for 2019 and is the leading win in this region of the country for 2019. 

The Gordon & Rees team obtained a $10.2 million jury verdict following a two-week product liability trial in Suffolk Superior Court. Gordon & Rees represented the plaintiff, a customer who purchased an HVAC system for his 22,000 square-foot home in Boston. The manufacturer of the system was Daikin Industries, Ltd., a company headquartered in Osaka, Japan. The defendants included two U.S. distributors, Daikin AC and Daikin North America; a sales representative, Stebbins-Duffy; and a service and maintenance provider, Daikin Applied.

At trial, the Gordon & Rees' Boston team presented an expert witness from MIT who offered his opinion that a defect in the Daikin-brand HVAC system caused it to suffer premature corrosion and systemic failures. They also presented evidence suggesting that Daikin North America fabricated the results of its internal testing and allowed the laboratory to destroy the tested samples during litigation. Finally, they presented the jury with evidence that customers in New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, and Georgia experienced similar issues with their systems and that Daikin North America concealed this information from the plaintiff.

The jury awarded $3.4 million for Daikin North America’s intentional misrepresentations and breach of the implied warranty of merchantability. The jury awarded $6.7 million in punitive damages for Daikin North America’s violation of the Consumer Protection Act. In total, the jury awarded $10.2 million to the plaintiff.

Gregory is a Partner in the Boston office of Gordon & Rees. His practice is focused on construction defect litigation and the defense of malpractice actions brought against professionals, including architects, engineers, surveyors, real estate brokers, appraisers and attorneys.

Lynch is a Partner in the Boston and Manchester office of Gordon & Rees. She handles a wide range of litigation, including matters involving construction defect litigation, the defense of real estate and design professionals, the defense of toxic tort claims, product liability claims, and employment matters.

Orlando is an associate practicing in the Boston office. He represents architects, engineers, contractors, real estate brokers, landlords, tenants, employers, and attorneys involved in commercial disputes. His practice also encompasses claims of professional malpractice, product liability, and premises liability.

The firm congratulates the Boston team for this prestigious recognition.

To view the New England Top Verdicts and Settlements 2019, please click here.

Jay S. Gregory
Tara E. Lynch
Stephen J. Orlando