Bexar County judge sticks with jury verdict in large fraud case

What a mess, replete with conflicting stories, high-value damage figures and complex intellectual properties to boot.

Still, San Francisco-based real estate valuation company HouseCanary (which has a San Antonio office) is happy with the court-developed results in its running battle with the Michigan company Amrock. That entity provides title insurance, valuation and closing services to homebuyers.

The Amrock/HouseCanary spat centrally involves technology aimed at enabling housing industry employees to use an automated realty valuation model and deliver onsite appraisals. HouseCanary claims it worked for 18 months to contractually deliver high-tech analytics required to do just that, but that Amrock refused to pay for services. Moreover, HouseCanary told a Bexar County jury earlier this year that Amrock’s true motive in contracting with it was simply to steal its valuable intellectual property, including formulas, algorithms and proprietary systems.

Amrock has steadfastly denied the claims. In fact, that company filed the first lawsuit in the matter, stating that HouseCanary delivered analytics that were “completely unusable.”

The jury thought otherwise, finding for HouseCanary. And a Texas judge confirmed its evaluation late last month in a ruling that denied Amrock’s request to vacate a whopping damage award of $706 million against the company. That amount was reached following the jury’s finding that Amrock fraudulently misappropriated HouseCanary’s trade secrets.

And it is now even bigger, with the court’s ruling tacking on millions more. Amrock is now on the hook for nearly $740 million in damages. One national article spotlighting the litigation calls the judgment “the largest handed down in a U.S. court this year and one of the largest in the history of the state of Texas.”

Amrock vows to keep fighting, stating that “a verdict procured by fraud and false testimony cannot be allowed to stand.”