SEATTLE, Nov. 2 – After a six-day trial, a federal jury dismissed Blue Niles $60.1 million claim against Yehuda Diamond Company. The Jury ruled against Blue Nile, acknowledging Yehuda Diamond’s right to compare the prices of its clarity enhanced diamonds to the untreated diamonds sold by online retailer Blue Nile.
Yehuda Diamond, based in New York, has earned widespread industry and consumer loyalty for its successful competition with Blue Nile and other online jewelers, favoring consumers not only with lower prices but also with unsurpassed expert face-to-face service and full Federal Trade Commission-compliant disclosure…
The suit [No. C-07-2017 TSZ], brought by Blue Nile and heard last month in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, involved Blue Nile’s efforts to prevent Yehuda Diamond from comparing the price and appearance of its clarity enhanced diamonds to those natural untreated diamonds sold by Blue Nile.
Yehuda Diamond has consistently contended, even before Blue Nile filed the lawsuit against it in December 2007, that Yehuda Diamond’s price comparisons are in the best interest of consumers. After 4-1/2 hours of deliberations, the jury agreed, dismissing both Blue Nile’s federal and state claims that Yehuda Diamond had engaged in false or misleading advertising.
Blue Nile, which has brought multiple lawsuits against smaller competitors over the past decade, had petitioned the jury to award it exemplary damages of $60,161,834.64, based on alleged actual damages of $20,053,944.88.
“This is a momentous victory for all consumers and for free-market competition,” says Dror Yehuda, president of Yehuda Diamonds.
“In essence, the jury told Blue Nile that it can’t use its massive size and legal muscle to prevent consumers from learning about lower-priced, quality alternatives to Blue Nile diamonds,” explains Mr. Yehuda. “In recent years, Blue Nile has preferred to fight its competitors in the courtroom than in the marketplace.”
Mr. Yehuda said that given the jury’s rulings in support of Yehuda Diamond, he has asked his attorneys to petition the judge in the case, the Honorable Thomas S. Zilly, to require Blue Nile to pay Yehuda Diamond’s legal fees. Yehuda Diamond is represented by Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer LLP, a Manhattan-based law firm.
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