Real estate startup HouseCanary made headlines when it secured a $700 million judgment against Title Source, Inc., now known as Amrock, in a trade secrets misappropriation case. In short, HouseCanary claimed that Amrock misappropriated its trade secrets to develop an app to compete with the very product Amrock hired HouseCanary to create—a product HouseCanary never delivered.
At the 2018 trial, HouseCanary prevailed on three causes of action against Amrock: breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA), and fraud. HouseCanary elected to recover under its TUTSA and fraud claims, for which the jury awarded it $700 million, instead of its breach of contract claim, for which the jury awarded it $201 million.
As we discussed in our previous blog post, the Texas Court of Appeals recently reversed the trial court due to deficiencies in the jury charge and remanded the case to be retried as to HouseCanary’s TUTSA and fraud claims, but not its breach of contract claim. However, at Amrock’s request, the Court of Appeals revised its opinion on August 26th. In revising its opinion, the Court of Appeals recognized that “HouseCanary’s TUTSA, fraud, and contract claims rely … on the same facts and the jury found those acts caused the same damages.” Thus, “it is possible that a retrial of the TUTSA and fraud claim will result in a verdict that conflicts with the first jury’s contract findings.” Based on this, the Court found that HouseCanary’s three claims were not separable.
Given this inseparability, the Court gave HouseCanary two options: It could either retry all of its claims, including its TUTSA, fraud, and breach of contract claims, instead of just two of those claims; or, HouseCanary could elect to recover the $201 million the jury awarded it under its breach of contract claim.
According to news outlets, HouseCanary is weighing its options.