The lawsuit pitting Accenture against former client Hertz will almost certainly go on for months and stretch into 2020, according to a scheduling order issued by the judge overseeing the case.
Yesterday, Judge William H. Pauley III of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York laid out the timeline for future proceedings. The process will begin with Hertz filing an amended complaint. Assuming the case moves forward as planned, the plaintiff and defendant will then present their motions, oral arguments, expert disclosures, and depositions before submitting a joint pre-trial order on Valentine’s Day, 2020 and appearing for a final conference the following week before the case goes to trial. (Again, that is assuming the case does indeed go to trial.)
Accenture declined to comment beyond a May statement confirming its plans to file for dismissal. Hertz declined to comment, and law firm Brown Rudnick did not respond to a related email.
So far, the case has consisted of a series of increasingly accusatory, back-and-forth filings. Approximately 6 weeks ago, Hertz sued Accenture, claiming breach of contract and violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The rental company stated in its initial filing that the consulting firm had failed to deliver a fully redesigned website and mobile app as promised in a 2016 contract. Said site and app were initially supposed to debut in December 2017 but have not yet gone live.
Accenture later filed a letter alerting to court as to its intentions to seek dismissal of the suit, and a spokesperson told Adweek, “Accenture continues to believe that the allegations in this lawsuit are without merit.” The letter implied that Accenture had fulfilled all obligations in the contract even if it did not deliver the final product and implied that the firm would also make counterclaims regarding unpaid invoices.
Approximately two weeks ago, Hertz’s legal counsel issued another rebuke, claiming that Accenture’s call to dismiss was premature because the former client had not yet detailed or determined its own damages. It also stated that the firm “engaged in unfair, deceptive, and extortionate conduct” by demanding more money after failing to deliver the full site and app.
As noted in the court docket, the two parties met for an initial pre-trial and pre-motion conference on Monday, June 3. The next development will come on June 14, the date the judge set for Hertz to file its amended complaint. At this time it is unclear why the complaint must be amended.
Below is the full scheduling order, issued yesterday.