The light-emitting diode (LED) technology was at the center of a recent lawsuit that delivered a financial jolt to one California company.
The Alabama Media Group reported that a jury handed down a $3 million verdict in favor of Clarence “Buddy” Scroggins, and his company Complete Lighting Source. Scroggins filed a lawsuit alleging fraud and breach of contract against Victor Deng and his company DM Technology and Energy Inc., claiming the California company agreed to manufacture his idea for a new light fixture. Scroggins came up with an idea for a new LED fixture and went into a business venture with Deng to produce it at a factory that Deng owned or co-owned in China.
Scroggins’ attorney told the Media Group that his client entered a deal with Deng in 2006 and agreed to allow Deng to patent the idea as long as both names were on the patent. However, Deng patented the idea in his name alone before severing ties with Scroggins. The trial began on March 25 and a Bessemer, Alabama, jury returned a verdict on April 1. The jury awarded Scroggins $4,750, plus 6 percent interest per annum from March 31, 2007, for his breach of contract claim in addition to $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages for the fraud claims.
According to the Media Group, Scroggins’ light fixture is essentially an aluminum casing with LED lights spread throughout, and it puts off a bright light with low heat that lasts longer and is more energy efficient. Scroggins’ attorney said the fixture was designed to replace florescent lighting, and the target customers were large discount retail stores and display cases at jewelry stores.
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