McCord Properties, Ltd., et al. v. Orkin Exterminating Co.
Mike Bell, Stephen Rowe and Andrew Nix defended Orkin in this lawsuit alleging fraudulent performance of termite protection services at two apartment complexes totaling 25 buildings. Plaintiffs argued they were defrauded as part of a nationwide scheme by Orkin and that, as a result, both complexes suffered massive termite damage and plaintiffs lost $850,000 in the sale of the complexes. The trial judge directed a verdict against Orkin for breach of contract. Therefore, the disputed matters were the amount of compensatory damages for breach of contract and plaintiffs' fraud (and punitive damage) claims. Plaintiffs requested $850,000 compensatory damages and $640 million in punitive damages. After a four week trial, the jury awarded $150,000 on the contract claim and found for Orkin on all fraud claims. The $150,000 award was $50,000 less than the offer of judgment made by Orkin two months before trial.