Briggs & Stratton ordered to pay $28.8 million in Exmark lawsuit

Company plans to contest ruling

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Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. was ordered by a federal judge to pay $28.8 million in damages to Nebraska-based Exmark Manufacturing Co. following a jury trial earlier this month.

In a securities filing, Briggs said it “strongly disagrees” with the verdict and plans to pursue its post-trial rights and appeal if necessary.

The verdict is the latest step in a patent infringement lawsuit first filed in 2010 over the design of two different mower decks.

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In 2016, a Nebraska jury determined that Briggs had willfully infringed on the designs of Exmark and ordered the company to pay more than $50 million to its competitor.

The U.S. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit overturned that finding, taking issue with the district court in Nebraska granting summary judgement, denying a new trial on damages and other evidentiary rulings.

The case was sent back to the district court for the judge to reconsider the summary judgment ruling and a potential new damages trial.

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In October, the judge again sided with Exmark and a jury trial on damages was held Dec. 10 to Dec. 18.

The jury awarded Exmark $14.4 million in compensatory damages and the court entered an additional $14.4 million in enhanced damages. Briggs will also have to pay pre- and post-judgment interest along with other costs.

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