Wickfire, LLC was awarded $2.3 million in compensatory damages as the result of its lawsuit against TriMax Media, LLC, Laura Woodruff, Joshua West, and WREI, Inc by A Texas federal jury in February of 2017.
The jury awarded damages to WickFire and found that all four defendants had violated the Lanham Act, intentionally interfered with Wickfire’s current and prospective contracts and business relations, and did so as part of a conspiracy to harm Wickfire. The jury also found that all four defendants acted with malice or gross negligence.
Wickfire alleged that the defendants committed click fraud and placed fraudulent advertisements on Google AdWords that falsely designated Wickfire as their origin in violation of the Lanham Act. At trial, Wickfire presented evidence from third parties Google, AT&T, Verizon, and American Express to support its claims.
The seven-person Austin jury unanimously found in favor of Wickfire and rejected TriMax and Woodruff’s claims that Wickfire had interfered with TriMax’s business relationships, defamed Woodruff, and disparaged TriMax’s business.
The jury attributed 95 percent of the fault to Woodruff, the owner and CEO of TriMax, and 5 percent to Josh West, another person associated with TriMax. The jury awarded $1.984 million for interference with Wickfire’s contracts and $334,000 for interference with prospective business or contractual relationships.
Judge Sam Sparks presided over the four-day trial, concluding litigation that lasted more than three years. Wickfire filed its lawsuit, Civil Action No. 14-CV-34, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
- The court judgement (Google Scholar).
- Jury Orders $2.3 Million Payment in Search-Ad Click-Fraud Scheme (AdvertisingAge)
- Texas Jury Awards $2.3M In Internet Marketing TM Row (Law 360)
- Houston Litigator Turns Last-Minute Click-Fraud Case Into $2.3 Million Verdict (TexasLawyer.com)
- Susman Godfrey Wins $2.3 Million Jury Verdict for Client WickFire in Lawsuit Against TriMax Over Manipulation of Online Advertising (Susman Godfrey)
- The verdict form returned by the jury (pdf download).