John Altstadt Testimony Cited in $18 Million Verdict in L.A. Superior Court
Mr. Altstadt recently testified as an expert for the plaintiff in a breach of contract matter regarding the loss of a commercial property due to fraudulent financial information provided by the tenant/defendant. The trial court judge specifically cited Mr. Altstadt's testimony in his opinion:
"Perhaps the most dramatic evidence of fraud was contained in the testimony of John Altstadt. Mr. Altstadt was a particularly well-qualified expert witness as he has years of specific expertise as a forensic accountant for automotive industry financial issues. It was his unequivocal opinion after review of the financial statements of the dealerships owned or controlled by the defendants that the dealerships in Lancaster had a history of losses, and were several million dollars out of trust by December 2006 - and that these conditions had grown worse by April 2007."
The Court eventually ruled in favor of our client and awarded damages in the total of over $18 million.
John Altstadt Testimony Part of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Reversal
Mr. Altstadt testified via Rule 26 report and deposition in a federal court case regarding the issuance of a letter of intent to a Chrysler dealer in Glendale, California. The trial court ruled against the dealer in the original case. The case was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the following testimony was cited in appellant's brief:
"As explained by Star's Expert [Mr. Altstadt], who had more than 30 years of experience with automotive franchise agreements, "no prudent businessperson would ever agree to such a clause" and the "unbelievably one-sided nature" of Star's LOI was unprecedented.
"Star's Expert stated that in more than 30 years of experience he had "considered hundreds of letters of intent and Sales and Service Agreements for nearly every manufacturer including Chrysler" but had "never read a letter of intent or Sales and Service Agreement as one-sided and onerous as the one issued by Chrysler to Star." This constitutes prima facie evidence that Star's LOI was not customary and usual but rather uncharacteristic and unusual.
Counsel for our client indicated to Altstadt Consulting that the Court of Appeal reversed portions of the lower court decision based, in part, on Mr. Altstadt's testimony.