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Luce Forward Obtains Unanimous Jury Verdict for Robinson & Robinson, Inc. on all Claims

LawFuel.com – July 30, 2009 – Jury awards approximately $5 million to Luce Forward client in business contract dispute case

SAN DIEGO (July 29, 2009) – Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP, a prominent California law firm, today announced partner Callie A. Bjurstrom and associate Ben West recently obtained a unanimous jury verdict awarding Robinson & Robinson, Inc. approximately $5 million in past and future damages in its dispute with Peterman Lumber, Inc.

The jury unanimously sided with Robinson & Robinson on all causes of action asserted against Peterman Lumber on a cross-complaint for breach of contract, breach of implied warranties and violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act resulting out of the sale and delivery of lead contaminated furniture legs.

Robinson & Robinson, which manufactures upholstered furniture, contracted with Peterman Lumber to supply all the wood, including 85,000 painted wooden furniture legs for 19,000 sofas and chairs ordered by Costco. The furniture was to be sold during the summer furniture season at Costco Wholesale stores throughout the United States.

During the quality control phase of Robinson & Robinson’s manufacturing process, the painted furniture legs provided by Peterman Lumber tested positive for lead. Given the relatively narrow window for delivery of the furniture to Costco and the unavailability of replacement legs, in order to correct the problem Robinson & Robinson was required to recall all deliveries in transit, strip and refinish the furniture legs and redeliver the furniture to Costco by the delivery deadlines.

Despite its best efforts to undertake these corrective measures and deliver on time, Robinson & Robinson was not able to deliver all orders on time and Costco cancelled some orders. Robinson & Robinson sought recovery from Peterman Lumber for the costs incurred to retrieve, strip and refinish the furniture legs, as well as its lost profits on the cancelled orders. Robinson & Robinson also sought lost future profits as Costco, which was once Robinson & Robinson’s largest client, has not ordered furniture from Robinson & Robinson since this incident.

Following a two-week trial, the jury awarded Robinson & Robinson $1,694,559 in past damages and $3,268,688 in lost future profits from sales to Costco.

“Luce Forward’s dedication and litigation savvy gave us confidence in facing our first court case,” said Noel Robinson, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Robinson & Robinson, Inc. “The firm’s integrity, honesty and professional excellence was enlightening to experience, and our company greatly benefitted from Callie, Ben and their entire team’s tireless commitment to making things right for us.”

Bjurstrom added, “We are very pleased with the outcome in this case. The jury held Peterman Lumber accountable for its failure to comply with federal lead paint regulations and acknowledged, through its verdict, both the expense shouldered by Robinson & Robinson to remediate the problem, as well as the damage to Robinson & Robinson’s business relationship with Costco.”

Both Bjurstrom and West are located in Luce Forward’s San Diego office. Bjurstrom is the Chair of the Business and Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group, in which West is a member.

Founded in 1873, Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP is a full-service California law firm with offices in San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel Valley/Del Mar, Orange County and Rancho Santa Fe. For more information, visit www.luce.com.

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