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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
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Posted: February 8, 2015

CEO Should Have Been Allowed to Testify Regarding Damages

On February 3, 2015, the First Department issued a decision in Wathne Imports, Ltd. v. PLR USA, Inc., 2015 NY Slip Op. 00830, holding that a party’s CEO should have been allowed to testify regarding that party’s damages.

In Wathne Imports the trial court granted the “defendants’ motion in limine to preclude plaintiff’s CEO from offering any testimony on damages.” The First Department reversed, explaining:

Plaintiff’s CEO has the requisite personal knowledge of the relevant business areas and information to render her competent to testify as to plaintiff’s lost profits, including offering estimates or projections of lost sales and profits. The witness had been CEO of plaintiff throughout plaintiff’s 25-year relationship with defendants, and had participated in all relevant aspects of plaintiff’s business. The weaknesses identified by defendants in the witness’s analysis bear on the credibility, not the admissibility, of her testimony.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

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