Helmer v. Bingham Toyota Isuzu, 129 Cal. App. 4th 1121 (2005)

Kevin Helmer alleged that Bingham Toyota Isuzu and Bob Clark, his former supervisor, fraudulently induced him to leave a prior job based on false promises made to him by Clark. A jury awarded Helmer $450,913 in compensatory damages (for future lost income) and $1.5 million in punitive damages, which the trial court later reduced to $675,000. Helmer allegedly quit his job at Lithia Automotive, where he was the parts and service manager, in reliance upon Clark’s promise that he would earn at least $5,700 per month at Bingham. When Bingham paid Helmer less, and Helmer complained about it, Clark notified Helmer that he was terminated. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in Helmer’s favor, holding that Helmer was properly awarded the value of his future lost income from Lithia.