Assessing Putative Damages Attributable to a Third-Party Service Provider

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Defense counsel retained Cornerstone Research to assess putative damages in a case involving an international Ponzi scheme.

Following the collapse of a financial institution involved in an international Ponzi scheme, the court-appointed receiver and the investors committee of the institution brought suit against a third party that had provided services to the institution. Defense counsel retained Cornerstone Research and Paul Gompers of the Harvard Business School to respond to the opposing expert’s damages model.

The plaintiffs alleged that the third party should have been aware of the Ponzi scheme and ended it before the institution collapsed. The plaintiffs’ expert put forth damages estimates based on these allegations.

Professor Gompers concluded that the damages estimates put forth by the plaintiffs’ expert were speculative and inconsistent with the plaintiffs’ theory of liability in the case.

In his rebuttal report, Professor Gompers identified several key flaws in the expert’s damages model, including a failure to account for recoveries already obtained by the receiver. As a result, the purported damages estimates far exceeded the actual losses incurred by the financial institution.

Professor Gompers also showed that the plaintiffs’ expert had failed to establish a causal link between the allegations and any losses incurred by the financial institution. He concluded that the damages estimates put forth by the plaintiffs’ expert were speculative and inconsistent with the plaintiffs’ theory of liability in the case.

The case settled shortly before trial.


For more information on this case, contact Yesim Richardson or Frank Schneider.

Case Expert

Paul A. Gompers

Eugene Holman Professor of Business Administration,
Harvard Business School,
Harvard University;
Senior Advisor, Cornerstone Research

  • Boston

Yesim C. Richardson

President

  • Boston

Frank Schneider

Vice President

  • San Francisco

Rezwan Haque

Senior Manager