Mitsubishi Electric Wins Reversal of $124 Million Verdict

Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA Inc. won a reversal of a $124 million jury verdict awarded to Grail Semiconductor Inc. in May in a breach-of-contract lawsuit in California state court.

Grail claimed Mitsubishi Electric disclosed its confidential information for a memory chip to an affiliated company, Mitsubishi-Japan, and a jointly owned Japanese company, Renesas.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Barnum in San Jose erased the award yesterday, finding flaws in the jury’s damages analysis, Raymond P. Niro, a lawyer representing Grail, said in a statement. The judge upheld the jury’s finding of liability, Barnum’s court clerk, Kevin Curdt, said today.

“We are really pleased that the trial judge agreed with the jury on all the questions of liability,” Niro said in the statement. “We now have a roadmap on how to improve our damages case for the next trial.”

David Elkins, a lawyer representing Mitsubishi Electric, a unit of Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (6503), didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment today on the ruling.

The verdict, issued by a jury in San Jose, is the 13th- largest jury award in the U.S. so far in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The largest, for $956 million, was against Vivendi SA (VIV) in a lawsuit over its 2001 purchase from Liberty Media Corp. (LMCA) of its stake in USA Networks Inc.

The case is Grail Semiconductor Inc. v. Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA Inc., 1-07-cv-098590, Santa Clara County Superior Court (San Jose).

To contact the reporter on this story: Margaret Cronin Fisk in Detroit at mcfisk@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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