MIAMI – In a surprising turn of events, a federal jury in Miami has awarded more than $7.5 million to Podhurst Orseck’s client, Circuitronix LLC, after allegations arose that the company had failed to pay over 400 invoices to Chinese-based manufacturer, Jiangmen Benlida Printed Circuit Co. This verdict comes after Circuitronix had initially been sued for $13.5 million by Benlida. Stephen Rosenthal, Matthew Weinshall, and Christina Martinez of Podhurst Orseck represented Circuitronix in the case, which was heard by U.S. District Judge Robert Scola of the Southern District of Florida.
For Circuitronix and its legal team, the trial presented an unusual challenge. Up until three weeks prior to the trial, they had been the defendants facing claims of $13.5 million. However, when Judge Scola granted summary judgment, Circuitronix suddenly found themselves in the position of the plaintiff. This shift required the legal team to reevaluate their trial strategy and reimagine the evidence they would present.
On the other side of the case, Richard Lerner, a partner at Mazzola Lindstrom in New York who represented Benlida, did not provide a comment on the verdict.
The dispute between Circuitronix and Benlida revolved around $13.5 million worth of circuit boards that Benlida alleged Circuitronix had purchased but failed to pay for starting in 2018. Benlida filed a lawsuit against Circuitronix in January 2021, claiming breach of contract and account stated. However, as the litigation unfolded, it became clear to Rosenthal and his team that Benlida’s case was weak. In response, they modified their strategy and filed a counter-lawsuit over alleged overpayments by Circuitronix to Benlida.
In September, Judge Scola granted a motion for summary judgment, dismissing the claims made by Benlida. The ruling indicated that Circuitronix had made payments totaling over $12.2 million to Benlida, who applied these payments to the oldest invoices first in accordance with accounting practices. However, during the discovery process, it was revealed that Benlida had combined accounts receivable for the invoices, providing grounds for a counter lawsuit.
With the breach of contract claim proceeding to trial, the jury deliberated for just 90 minutes before reaching a verdict in favor of Circuitronix, awarding them over $7.5 million in damages.
Rosenthal expressed the team’s ability to adapt their trial plan under pressure, stating, “We were flexible enough under pressure to adapt our whole trial plan under the new circumstances.”
In a significant swing in fortune for Podhurst Orseck’s clients, Circuitronix’s victory marks a $20 million turnaround from their previous position as defendants in the case. The jury’s award of over $7.5 million demonstrates the court’s recognition of Circuitronix’s position in the dispute.