Washington Liquor Control Board filed its notice of appeal to the 9th Circuit on the issue of paying nearly all of the attorney fees to Costco despite winning 7/9 of the litigation. Their notice is here. Also, the Washington Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association filed their notice of appeal as well. Their appeal is here.
The chilling effect of Judge Pechman’s ruling on a whole host of often litigated issues from housing, environmental, labor and safety concerns is staggering. Hopefully the 9th Circuit will correct Judge Pechman. Again. A briefing schedule will be issued soon and this matter will drag throughout 2010.
Costco Wins for Losing
In one final shot at the State of Washington and the Washington Wine and Beer Wholesalers Association, federal judge Marsha Pechman has awarded Costco Corporation, $1.9 million in legal fees for their efforts to overturn Washington state alcohol laws. In her opinion she suggested Costco was the prevailing party despite only winning on two of nine matters. As you may recall, Judge Pechman ruled for Costco repeatedly at the trial level and the 9th Circuit unamiously overturned most of her rulings. It is now up to the state and the wholesaler association to determine if they will appeal this decision to give a Fortune 50 company $1.9 million for losing its case.
A Seattle Times article discusses this ruling pointing out that Costco made roughly $210 million in profit last quarter.