Behm v. Clear View Techs.Annotate this Case
Behm claimed that she was persuaded by the false representations of CVT's officers and directors to invest $200,000 in the company. CVT claimed to be developing a product that would measure pours of alcohol with such precision that it would save large sums of money for purveyors of adult beverages. CVT had financial difficulties. Behm discovered the product did not have the viability she had been assured. She filed suit against CVT and its officers and directors seeking compensatory damages exceeding $200,000. During the litigation, CVT failed to produce discovery and to comply with court orders. Behm obtained terminating sanctions. A default was entered against CVT. Behm procured a default judgment for $1,264,668.83, including $924,000 in punitive damages. CVT moved to vacate the default and the judgment, arguing that it did not have sufficient notice of the amount of punitive damages under Code of Civil Procedure 425.115, 2(f) and that it was entitled to mandatory relief from default under section 473(b) because the default was incurred due to the mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect of its prior attorney. The appeal court affirmed the trial court order, vacating the default judgment after finding the notice of damages was insufficient, and denying CVT’s request to be relieved from the underlying default.