DALLAS (CN) – A North Texas jury slapped information technology company Fujitsu with a $1.7 million verdict last week, finding it illegally tried to cut out a sales representative company to avoid paying higher prices to cover commissions.
The plaintiff, Allen-based Intermarc, was awarded $700,000 in actual damages and $1 million in punitive damages. It sued Fujitsu and its senior director of procurement in 2009 in Collin County District Court, alleging tortious interference of a contract, according to a written statement by plaintiff’s attorneys Brown & McCarroll LLP of Dallas.
After six years of negotiations, Intermarc was able to link Fujitsu with its client Humanetics in 2004. Under the exclusive sales representative relationship, Humantics sold telecommunications supplies to Fujitsu, resulting in several millions of dollars in annual revenue. But the relationship soured, with Intermarc saying Fujitsu later approached the supplier about cutting Intermarc out of the relationship so it would not have to pay more for supplies to cover the commissions Humanetics owed to Intermarc.
Intermarc said that Humanetics ultimately terminated its contract to stop payment of the commissions.
“Many outside sales representatives and other professionals who work for commissions are denied their hard-earned compensation,” plaintiff’s attorney Peter J. Harry said. “Intermarc refused to take this lying down, and was fortunate to survive the three years and five months it took for this case to get to trial so justice could be served.”
In February 2011, Intermarc secured a jury verdict in Dallas County District Court against Humanetics, resulting in a confidential settlement, according to the written statement.