Behm v. Clear View Techs.Annotate this Case
Behm asserts that she was persuaded by the false representations to invest $200,000 in CVT, which claimed to be developing a product that would measure pours of alcohol with such precision that it would save large sums of money for liquor purveyors. When CVT had financial difficulties and Behm discovered the product was not viable, she filed suit. During the litigation, CVT failed to produce discovery and to comply with court orders. Behm obtained terminating sanctions. Default judgment entered in the amount of $1,264,668.83, including $924,000 in punitive damages. CVT moved to vacate, arguing that it did not have sufficient notice of the amount of punitive damages under Code of Civil Procedure 425.115(f)1 and that it was entitled to mandatory relief because the default was incurred due to the mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect of its prior attorney. The trial court vacated the default judgment after finding the notice of damages was insufficient, but denied CVT’s request to be relieved from the underlying default. The court of appeal affirmed. Due process requires that when a plaintiff seeks discovery terminating sanctions with punitive damages, a statement must be served, sufficient to afford defendant the opportunity to fairly appraise the full amount of damages sought by the time needed to respond.