In the intellectual property case between Epic Systems and TCS, the US Court of Appeals agreed with the district court that the $140 million in punitive damages that the district court gave to TCS is legal.
TCS had said that the district court didn’t follow the US Court of Appeals’ orders when it didn’t lower the amount of punitive damages to between $10 million and $25 million. The order from the Court of Appeals said, “We affirm the $140 million in punitive damages because the district court made a good case for it.”
Epic had said that TCS and Tata America had used a mutual client to access Epic’s web portal without permission and then used the information they got to make their own competing hospital management software.
The analysis in the Seventh Circuit Order from July showed that “it described how TCS employees, knowing full well that they were not allowed to view Epic’s web portal, deliberately and repeatedly accessed and downloaded confidential information that Epic had spent years developing, and then used that information to try to compete with Epic.”
The district court also talked about what TCS’s leaders did to hide their plan, such as punishing an employee who told on them, not keeping important documents, lying when asked by Epic, and then lying again when asked under oath. The judge said that this behaviour was “repeated, planned, and cynical.”
The court said that the amount of the punitive damages was in line with the amount of the compensatory damages and the damage that Epic had to deal with. TCS had given different reasons why awards should be lowered. The court pointed out that TCS is one of the largest companies in the world, so only a big punishment would be enough to stop them from doing it again. The court was also unhappy with TCS’s “repeated and blatant misbehaviour.”