MAJOR DEFENSE VERDICT UPHELD ON APPEAL

Touchstone partners, Ron Johnson and Mark Smith, and associate, Amie Fordan, were recently successful in upholding a defense verdict on appeal in the Texas Supreme Court.  The case, tried to a jury by Johnson, Smith, and associate Christian Shippee, involved an auditing malpractice case  filed by the Commission of the Oklahoma Department of Insurance acting as the receiver of a failed insurance company against the officers of the insurance company and Touchstone’s client, an accounting and auditing firm.  Allegations included breach of fiduciary duty and professional negligence in performing multiple audits which plaintiff claimed prevented the Department of Insurance from discovering that the insurer was insolvent and allowed the insurer to continue operating when it should have been in receivership.  Damages sought by the plaintiff exceeded fifty million dollars.  After four weeks of trial and four days of jury deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the auditing firm which resulted in the court entering a take-nothing judgment in favor of the firm.  The Court of Appeals affirmed that judgment and just recently, the Texas Supreme Court denied the Petition, making the defense verdict in favor of the firm’s client final.

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