Howard Litsky v. GI Apparel, Inc.

The law firm of Kaufman, Miller & Forman, P.C., Robert J. Kaufman represented Howard Litsky in the case of Howard Litsky v. GI Apparel, Inc., which was originally filed in state court and was then removed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The District Court was asked to determine: 1) whether Mr. Litsky had an entitlement for payment under certain commission deal(s); 2) whether there was a breach of contract between the parties as to Mr. Litsky's employment with GI, or in the alternative, whether Mr. Litsky should prevail on claims of quasi contract, quantum meruit, and unjust enrichment; and 3) whether GI's actions constituted bad faith, stubbornly litigious behavior, or caused Mr. Litsky unnecessary trouble and expense.

At the conclusion of a six day non-jury trial, the District Court made the following findings of fact and conclusions of law: 1) that Mr. Litsky was entitled to commission payments; 2) that the employment arrangement between the parties failed to raise to the level of a meeting of the minds but nevertheless, the District Court found that there was an implied promise to pay and that Mr. Litsky had conferred a substantial benefit upon GI such that Mr. Litsky had bona fide claims under quasi contract, quantum meruit, and unjust enrichment; and 3) that GI acted in bad faith, was stubbornly litigious, and caused Mr. Litsky unnecessary trouble and expense, and that an award of attorney's fees and costs of litigation to Litsky was appropriate. As a result of the above findings, the District Court awarded a total judgment in the amount of $1,105,787.21. Download District Court Order: Click here.

After the District Court ruled in Mr. Litsky's favor, GI filed a Notice of Appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit regarding the following issues: (1) whether the District Court erred in ruling that Mr. Litsky was entitled to recover quantum meruit/unjust enrichment damages, and if not, whether the District Court erred in determining the amount of quantum meruit/unjust enrichment damages that could be awarded; and (2) whether the District Court erred in awarding Mr. Litsky attorney's fees and expenses of litigation under O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11, and specifically, whether the District Court erred in awarding attorney's fees and litigation expenses attributable to the entire case.

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the District Court's holding in favor of Mr. Litsky by affirming Mr. Litsky's damages based on quantum meruit, and by affirming Mr. Litsky's statutory attorney's fees. Download 11th Circuit Order: Click here. GI then filed a Petition for Rehearing or Rehearing En Banc on the same two issues affirmed by this Court and both requests were denied by the Eleventh Circuit.

GI then filed a Petition for Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court which was denied.