Billion Dollar Blunders *
*  The C-Letter provides articles to keep you informed and up to date on Human Resources
issues and management related topics.  

The C-letter is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Please see

Outside of a defendant saying, "Sure, your right,", the easiest way to win a
lawsuit is by default judgment.

When a you fail to respond to the charges made by the plaintiff, the court can
find for the defendant and award them a monetary sum. Moreover, that sum can
be large: $1.26 billion large.

"In court papers, PepsiCo claims it first received a legal document related to the
case from the North Carolina agent on Sept. 15 when a copy of a
co-defendant's letter was forwarded to Deputy General Counsel Tom Tamoney
in PepsiCo's law department. Tamoney's secretary, Kathy Henry, put the letter
aside and didn't tell anyone about it because she was "so busy preparing for a
board meeting," PepsiCo said in its Oct. 13 motion to vacate."

Regardless of exactly what went wrong, a default judgment of over one billion
dollars was entered against PepsiCo. Luckily for the company, they were given
another chance, according to's follow-up article. On November 6,
2009, there was a hearing and PepsiCo was able to convince the judge that
they did not properly receive notice. The default judgment was vacated and the
lawsuit is going forward. According to online Wisconsin Court records, oral
arguments will be heard on the merits of the case in April 2010.

article referenced: by Lisa C. Johnson, Esq. - Jan 2010