February 2, 2011

California lawyer wins another big punitive damages award against BDO Seidman

The Miami Herald reports that a Florida jury has awarded $91 million, including $55 million in punitive damages, to the estate of philanthropist/aviation pioneer George Batchelor in a lawsuit against accounting firm BDO Seidman.  The plaintiff claimed that BDO Sediman fraudulently concealed information about a company in which Batchelor had invested.

The California connection here is the plaintiff's lawyer: Steven Thomas of Thomas, Alexander & Forrester in Venice.  Thomas scored an even bigger punitive damages award ($351 million) against the same defendant in another Florida case in 2009 (see this post), but that award was reversed on appeal.