Free Judgment - District Court of Arizona - Arizona


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Date: April 2, 2008
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State: Arizona
Category: District Court of Arizona
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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA

) ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) vs. ) ) WILLIAM WONG, et al., ) ) Defendants. ) ___________________________________)

MARLYN NUTRACEUTICALS, INC., an Arizona corporation,

No. 2:02-cv-1876-HRH

FINAL JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANTS WILLIAM WONG AND MICHELLE WONG Based upon the following, the court now enters final judgment in favor of plaintiff Marlyn Nutraceuticals, Inc., and against defendants William Wong and Michelle Wong. Plaintiff's claims for trade secrets violations, Lanham Act/ false advertising, unfair competition, and trade libel were tried to a jury which, on April 5, 2006, returned verdicts in favor of plaintiff and against the defendants Wong as follows: (1) Trade Secrets: $1.00 compensatory damages. The

jury found that the trade secrets violation was willful and malicious. (2) (Verdict No. 1.) $1.00 compensatory

Lanham Act / False Advertising: damages. (Verdict No. 5.) - 1 -

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(3)

Unfair Competition: (Verdict No. 6.)

$1.00 compensatory damages.

(4)

Trade Libel: No. 7.)

$1.00 compensatory damages.

(Verdict

(5)

On plaintiff's Lanham Act/false advertising, unfair competition, and trade libel claims, the jury

awarded plaintiff $500,000.00 against the Wongs. (Verdict No. 9.) Post-verdict motions were filed by both plaintiff and the Wong defendants. Relevant to the Wongs, plaintiff moved for attorney

fees pursuant to the Lanham Act and for an award on plaintiff's claims for injunctive relief. For reasons stated, the court As

concluded that Lanham Act attorney fees were available.1

regards injunctive relief, the court found that plaintiff was entitled to injunctive relief as to Counts 1, 6, and 7: for an

Arizona trade secrets violation, trade libel, and Lanham Act/false advertising.2 By their post-verdict motions, the Wongs sought judgment as a matter of law, a new trial, and/or remittitur. judgment as a matter of law was denied.3 The motion for

The Wongs' motion for a

Order re Plaintiff's Post-Verdict Motions at 11-12 (Nov. 14, 2006), Docket No. 282.
2

1

Id. at 12-19.

Order re Defendants World and Wongs' Post-Verdict Motions at 15 (Nov. 14, 2006), Docket No. 280. - 2 -

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new trial was denied as to liability.4

However, the Wongs' motion

for a new trial or remittitur as to the punitive damages verdicts rendered by the jury against them was granted. Specifically, the

court determined that the Wongs were entitled to a new trial on the amount of punitive damages unless plaintiff agreed to remit the punitive damages awards to a total of $50,000.00.5 By agreement of the parties, the deadline for plaintiff to submit its position as regards remittitur or a new trial was extended to December 14, 2006;6 however, on that date, in a motion for reconsideration, Marlyn Nutraceuticals accepted the court's proposed remittitur as to the Wongs on the condition that they agree not to file any appeal from the court's judgment.7 The court

took note of the foregoing in its case status order of January 26, 2007,8 and called upon the Wongs to inform the court whether they would accept plaintiff's condition that no appeal be taken. By notice filed February 12, 2007,9 the Wongs conditionally accepted the proposal that they forego any appeal if the punitive damages award against them was remitted to $50,000.00. The new

4

Id. at 15-32. Id. at 51. Docket No. 284. Docket No. 285 at 10-11. Docket No. 287 at 3. Docket No. 289. - 3 -

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6

7

8

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condition was that a further motion for a new trial,10 filed by the defendants concurrent with the notice, would be denied by the court.11 By order of July 9, 2007,12 the court denied the new motion for a new trial, thus the Wongs' condition as well as the

plaintiff's condition for acceptance of a remittitur of punitive damages against the Wongs to $50,000.00 was met. Finally, by case status order entered February 29, 2008,13 the court called upon plaintiff to submit a proposed judgment in its favor and against the defendants Wong. been served and lodged with the court. That proposed judgment has Because of the extensive,

convoluted history of proceedings as between plaintiff and the Wongs, the court deemed it advisable to set forth the foregoing history leading to the following judgment. IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that plaintiff Marlyn Nutraceuticals, Inc., an Arizona corporation, have judgment against defendants William Wong and Michelle Wong, husband and wife, jointly and severally, in the amount of $1.00 compensatory damages and $50,000.00 punitive damages, for a total judgment of

$50,001.00.

This judgment shall bear interest from the date of

entry until paid, at the rate specified by 28 U.S.C. 1961.

10

Docket No. 288.

If this second new trial motion were granted, both Marlyn Nutraceuticals and the Wongs would be entitled to a new trial on liability as well as damages issues.
12

11

Docket No. 304. Docket No. 341. - 4 -

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IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that plaintiff is entitled to move for an award of attorney fees in accordance with procedures specified by this court's prior orders and the local rules of court. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that: WILLIAM WONG, and all persons acting in concert or participation with him who will receive actual notice of this order by

personal service or otherwise, are enjoined for a term of five years after the entry of this judgment from using the attached customer list to send direct mailings and from using the attached list to contact directly, by telephone, in person, via facsimile, or any other means of communication, any person on the attached customer list. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this judgment -- without the referenced customer list -- shall be filed in the normal course as a public document; however, a duplicate original of this judgment with the customer list attached shall be retained under seal by the clerk of court. Plaintiff shall provide the customer list to the

clerk of court for attachment to the sealed judgment forthwith. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that WILLIAM WONG, and all persons acting in concert or participation with him who will receive actual notice of the court's order by - 5 -

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personal service or otherwise, are permanently enjoined from stating in any form of

advertising or customer contact that Wobenzyme has been infected with or quarantined because of "mad cow disease" (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) or any similar characterization of Wobenzyme. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that WILLIAM WONG, and all persons acting in concert or participation with him who will receive actual notice of this order by

personal service or otherwise, are permanently enjoined from making any false statements with respect to comparisons of Vitalzym to

Wobenzyme. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that defendants William Wong and Michelle Wong, having waived their right to appeal, and this case having been concluded as to all claims between plaintiff and the Wongs, there is no just reason for delaying the entry of final judgment. Accordingly, pursuant to

Rule 54(b), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this judgment is final. DATED at Anchorage, Alaska, this 2nd day of April, 2008.

/s/H. Russel Holland United States District Judge

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