Effectiveness of Fiber-Reinforced Composite Materials in Recreational Vehicles

Defense counsel retained a Cornerstone Research expert to identify factors that could affect the plaintiff’s sales, market share, and profitability.

A recreational vehicles manufacturer sued a large manufacturer of fiber-reinforced composite materials for producing allegedly defective materials. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s product caused the plaintiff to suffer damages including repair costs, lost sales and profits, and reputational damage.

The jury awarded no punitive damages and awarded only a small amount in compensatory damages.

Defense counsel retained George Strong, a managing director of Cornerstone Research, to identify factors that could affect the plaintiff’s sales, market share, and profitability and to assess the damages analysis of the plaintiff’s expert. Mr. Strong’s analysis showed that the plaintiff’s expert had failed to account for the plaintiff’s weak historical financial performance, a slowing economy, and the small number of RVs shipped to dealers and customers.

In addition, Mr. Strong showed that the stock market’s lack of reaction to the announcement of the allegedly defective product was inconsistent with the magnitude of the damages estimated by the plaintiff’s expert. The jury awarded no punitive damages and awarded only a small amount in compensatory damages, substantially less than the damages estimate of the plaintiff’s expert.