Tata Wins Trim of $420 Million Judgment in Trade Secrets Case

Written September 3, 2020

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on August 20, 2020, held that the $280 million in punitive damages Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., an Indian multinational IT services company, owes electronic health record developer Epic Systems Corp. for stealing trade secrets is “constitutionally excessive.” Epic Sys. Corp. v. Tata Consultancy Servs. Ltd., 7th Cir., No. 19-1528, 8/20/20.

Epic sued Tata after one of its consultants posed as an employee to gain a higher level of access to Epic’s protected electronic workspace for customer Kaiser Permanente. He downloaded thousands of documents over a two-year period containing Epic’s confidential information and trade secrets.

A jury originally awarded Epic a total award of $940 million. The trial court greatly reduced the award, but the appeals court said it didn’t go far enough. The amount, double the compensatory damages award, “exceeds the outermost limit of the due process guarantee in the Constitution,” the Seventh Circuit said.