Eric Macey and Julie Johnston-Ahlen recently won denial of post-trial motions on a multimillion-dollar judgment awarded to their clients three years ago.

Eric N. MaceyJulie Johnston-Ahlen

In 2018, the federal court in Chicago awarded Novack and Macey’s clients, Sunny Handicraft (H.K.) Ltd. and Bin Teh Handicraft (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd., a Chinese distributor, and manufacturer of seasonal merchandise, nearly $4.5 million in damages due to breach of contract and fraud against Envision, a Florida based company that worked with the manufacturers to help distribute their products to U.S. retailers, including Walgreens.

Between 2007 and 2013, the companies worked together to arrange holiday shipments to various retailers. In doing so, Walgreens would sign “Confirmation Forms” and pay for the merchandise by issuing letters of credit made out to the beneficiary listed on those forms. From 2007 to 2012, those forms listed Sunny Handicraft as the letter of credit beneficiary.  But when Envision sent its 2013 Confirmation Form, Envision -- not Sunny -- was listed as the letter of credit beneficiary. At trial, Sunny asserted this was done surreptitiously and without their knowledge.

Macey and his team proved both fraud and breach of contract, with the jury awarding just over $3 million in contract damages, $400,000 in damages for fraud, and just over $900,000 in punitive damages.