Government & Politics  December 8, 2023

Utility billing provider files motion to ignore jury verdict in Fort Collins case

FORT COLLINS — The city of Fort Collins may have won a jury verdict in its case against the developer of utility billing software for the city, but its opponent isn’t going quietly into the sunset.

Open International LLC and co-defendant Open Investments LLC have filed a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law in the case that began in 2021.

The city received a favorable verdict in November in which a Denver federal jury after a 10-day trial determined that Florida-based Open International and Open Investments fraudulently induced the city to enter a contract with Open to provide the city with Open’s customer information system that would provide utility billing for both the city’s Connexion broadband services and traditional utilities. All that remained, the city thought, was a court determination of damages.

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The case revolved around a disagreement between the city and Open over who was at fault for the inability to bring utility billing services online in a timely manner. The city said it was misled about Open’s abilities; Open contended that Fort Collins failed to supply sufficient resources to the project.

Despite the jury verdict, Open International’s latest motion filed with the court Dec. 1 alleged that “judgment should be entered against the city of Fort Collins on its fraudulent inducement claim. The evidence at trial did not support a finding of fraudulent inducement, which is likewise barred by the economic loss rule, a contractual integration clause and unrebutted timeliness and waiver defenses.”

The city “unlawfully terminated the parties’ contract and thereby prevented completion of the project,” the motion said. The city should have given notice of default and given Open an opportunity to cure the default, the company said.

Citing case law, Open said that “the court should disregard any jury determination for which there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis …”

Fort Collins City Manager Kelly DiMartino told BizWest Thursday that the city would “file a timely response” to Open’s motion. She said the city was scheduled to file its demand for relief, including damages and costs, on Friday, but that had not been filed as of publication time of this report. 

This report will be updated as developments occur.

The case, city of Fort Collins vs. Open International LLC and Open Investments LLC, was 21cv02063 filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

FORT COLLINS — The city of Fort Collins may have won a jury verdict in its case against the developer of utility billing software for the city, but its opponent isn’t going quietly into the sunset.

Open International LLC and co-defendant Open Investments LLC have filed a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law in the case that began in 2021.

The city received a favorable verdict in November in which a Denver federal jury after a 10-day trial determined that Florida-based Open International and Open Investments fraudulently induced the city to enter a contract with…

Ken Amundson
Ken Amundson is managing editor of BizWest. He has lived in Loveland and reported on issues in the region since 1987. Prior to Colorado, he reported and edited for news organizations in Minnesota and Iowa. He's a parent of two and grandparent of four, all of whom make their homes on the Front Range. A news junkie at heart, he also enjoys competitive sports, especially the Rapids.
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