Vicor Corp. v. Vigilant Ins. Co., No. 09-1589 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Vicor manufacturers electronic equipment, including power converters. Ericsson designs, manufactures and sells electronic equipment, including radio base stations (RBSs) used to operate cellular telephone towers and networks. Ericsson purchased Vicor power converters for use in RBSs sold to wireless providers worldwide. The power converters began failing due to a manufacturing change in a component computer chip. Severe outages occurred in wireless networks. Ericsson sued Vicor and obtained a settlement of $50 million. Vicor's insurers paid $13 million. Vicor sought the additional $37 million. A jury awarded $17.3 million. The district court reduced the verdict by $4 million. The First Circuit vacated. The policies refer to "loss of use of property that is not physically injured." The district court should fashion jury instructions making clear that classic loss of use damages (lost profits or rental value of substitute property) incurred while repairs are pending may be recovered, but the actual costs of repairs may not. The court also may instruct the jury regarding the duty to mitigate loss and explain that costs of reasonable mitigation measures are recoverable, provided that the mitigation measures are distinguishable from ordinary repairs and result in a net savings.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on March 21, 2012.