Briggs & Stratton has been ordered to pay more than $28.8 million in damages in a patent ruling in favour of Exmark Manufacturing Company Inc., a Nebraska-based subsidiary of The Toro Co.
Exmark first filed a lawsuit against Briggs in May 2010, alleging that some mower decks produced by the latter’s subsidiary Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group LLC had infringed upon Exmark’s mower deck patent. A September 2015 verdict ruled against Briggs, but an appellate court remanded the decision back to the district court for reconsideration in January 2018.
On Dec. 20, the new trial ended with the district court ruling in favor of Exmark again. The court ordered Briggs to pay $14.4 million in compensatory damages, an additional $14.4 million in enhanced damages, plus "re-judgment interest, post-judgment interest and costs to be determined," according to a Briggs filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The cost/impact of the damages would most probably not appear in Brigg’s financial report for the quarter ending December 30, according to Briggs. As for the implication on future financial statements, the company indicated that it might assess the possibility of a successful appeal before making any estimate.
"The company strongly disagrees with the verdict and certain rulings made before and during the new trial and intends to vigorously pursue its rights through post-trial motions and, if necessary, on appeal," as mentioned in Briggs’ filing with the SEC.