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

Company plans to contest ruling

Briggs & Stratton headquarters
The Briggs & Stratton headquarters in Wauwatosa.

Last updated on June 18th, 2019 at 01:41 pm

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.

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.

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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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He spent also five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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