Claimed California company took his light fixture idea

9. dubna 2013 v 7:57 |  solar photovoltaic system
A Bessemer jury last week handed down a $3 million verdict in favor of a Birmingham area man who had filed a lawsuit claiming fraud and breach of contract against a California company that was to manufacture his idea for a new light fixture, court records show.

The jury rendered a verdict in favor of Clarence "Buddy" W. Scroggins, and his company Complete Lighting Source, and against Victor Deng and his company DM Technology and Energy Inc., of California. The trial, held before Bessemer Cutoff Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Eugene Verin, began March 25 and ended with a verdict on April 1.

The jury awarded Scroggins $4,750, plus 6% interest per annum from March 31, 2007, for his breach of contract claim and $1.5 million in compensatory damages, and $1.5 million in punitive damages on the fraud claims.

Scroggins was very pleased with the verdict and that Deng was being held responsible, said Jason Yearout, the Birmingham attorney who represented Scroggins. "He knew he had been taken advantage of."

Yearout said that Scroggins came up with an idea for a new light-emitting diode - or LED - fixture and went into a business venture with Deng to produce it at a factory that Deng owned or co-owned in China. "Buddy (Scroggins) agreed to allow Deng to patent the idea provided both were on the patent. Deng patented the idea in his name alone, however, and severed ties with Buddy," according to a statement from Yearout.

Scroggins entered the deal with Deng in 2006. Scroggins filed his lawsuit in 2007.

During the trial Deng introduced a 2003 patent for the same idea he claimed was from China, Yearout said. "I knew the 2003 patent did not exist, my client knew the 2003 patent did not exist, and I believe it's clear that the jury concluded that the 2003 patent did not exist," he said.

"This verdict sends a message to every entity who comes to Alabama that if you mistreat our citizens, if you defraud our citizens, if you steal from our citizens, you will be held responsible," Yearout stated in his release.

Yearout, in an interview today, said they were unclear how many of the LED light fixtures had been sold.

Scroggins' light fixture basically is an aluminum casing with LED lights spread throughout, Yearout said.

The LED fixture was designed to replace florescent lighting, Yearout said. The fixture puts off a bright light, with low heat, its lasts longer, and is more energy efficient, he said.

The target customer in the beginning was lighting for large discount retail stores and for use in jewelry display cases at jewelry stores, Yearout said.
 

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