A jury has found that Avaya must pay Continuant, a company that offers maintenance and support services for voice and data communications systems, millions in compensatory damages.
The ruling comes after years of legal back-and-forth, after Avaya had insisted that Continuant did not have the right to repair or maintain Avaya systems. Continuant said this violated antitrust laws and sought $144 million in damages.
On Thursday, a federal jury in New Jersey awarded Continuant $20 million, a number that will be tripled to $60 million due to certain laws. Avaya also will owe Continuant a yet-undetermined amount for legal fees.
Continuant CEO Doug Graham, who founded the company in 1996, praised the outcome in a press release.
“When Avaya couldn’t beat us in the market place, they tried beating us with almost eight years of scorched-earth litigation,” he said. “The jury has not only put a stop to that but has also awarded us a portion of the damages that some of their actions have caused us.”
For its part, Avaya said it was pleased that the jury rejected most of Continuant’s antitrust claims and rejected most of the damages sought by Continuant.
Nonetheless, Avaya plans to appeal, the company said in a statement.
At the same time, Avaya said its existing maintenance contracts with customers remain unchanged, “and the existing contracts, programs and policies we have with our authorized business partners remain unchanged.”