Raleigh, NC (December 15, 2010) – A Wake County jury awarded $37 million Monday to Plasma Centers of America (“PCA”), a California company, after finding that Talecris Plasma Resources, based in Research Triangle Park, breached its contract with PCA.
The jury found that Talecris violated its 2007 contract with Plasma Centers of America by backing out of a deal to buy eight plasma collection centers in California and Indiana that PCA was building for Talecris.
The $37 million award is believed to be one of the largest jury verdicts in North Carolina history. The jury found entirely in PCA’s favor after deliberations Friday and Monday.
Gary Crandall, President of Plasma Centers of America, was grateful to the jury of 10 women and two men who decided the case. “We want to thank the members of the jury for their careful attention to the evidence and their hard work – particularly during the holiday season.”
Michael Mitchell, PCA’s lead lawyer in the case, said “After nearly two years of litigation, the jury’s verdict is a strong statement that Plasma Centers of America fulfilled its contractual obligations to Talecris, but that Talecris did not live up to its obligations.”
Mitchell is a partner at the Raleigh law firm Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan. Assisting Mitchell were Smith Anderson partner Clifton Brinson and Kelli Ovies, a firm associate.
The trial began November 29 at the Wake County courthouse in downtown Raleigh. Lawyers for both sides gave closing arguments Friday morning, December 10. After Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway delivered jury instructions, the jury began deliberating mid-afternoon Friday. After breaking for the weekend, the jury returned Monday, and delivered its verdict about 3:30 p.m. The jury found in PCA’s favor on all issues.
“We are very pleased for our client, Plasma Centers of America,” said Carl Patterson, Smith Anderson’s managing partner. “And we are very proud of our trial team of Mike Mitchell, Cliff Brinson and Kelli Ovies.”
Smith Anderson, with 122 lawyers and 90 staff members, has grown to become the largest law firm headquartered in the Research Triangle, and one of the biggest in North Carolina. Smith Anderson received first-tier rankings in 15 categories in the recent nationwide “Best Law Firm Ranking,” the greatest number of any Triangle law firm.
In the inaugural nationwide “Best Law Firm Ranking” produced jointly in September by U.S. News and Best Lawyers, Smith Anderson received first-tier rankings in 15 categories, the greatest number of any law firm in the Research Triangle. It also is the only Triangle firm with first-tier rankings in Mergers & Acquisitions Law and Securities / Capital Markets Law.
The firm’s Corporate / Mergers & Acquisitions practice received Chambers USA’s highest ranking this year for the third consecutive year, the only Triangle law firm and one of only two North Carolina firms to receive this notable honor. Other practice areas honored include General Commercial Litigation, Real Estate, and Labor & Employment.
In addition, Smith Anderson’s Public and Government Affairs team earned high marks in two recent, independent rankings of lobbying effectiveness. In one of them, the firm’s government relations practice received a coveted first-tier designation in the September “Best Law Firm Ranking,” by U.S. News and Best Lawyers. In the other, the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research ranked the firm’s lead lobbyists as the 7th and 14th most effective out of 871 lobbyists in North Carolina.
Smith Anderson, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2012, provides a full range of legal services. The downtown Raleigh firm is dedicated to the principles of professionalism, excellence, and service to its clients and the community.