April 15, 2013

Billionaire wins $12M in punitive damages from New York jury

Bloomberg News is reporting (via the San Francisco Chronicle) that a federal jury in Manhattan has awarded $12 million in punitive damages to Florida billionaire William Koch, who claimed he was duped into buying collectible wine that turned out to be fake.  The defendant, California internet entrepreneur Eric Greenberg, said he had no idea the wines from his private collection were not authentic.  Obviously the jury didn't believe him.  Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that the punitive damages award will survive through posttrial motions and an appeal. The award is 31.5 times the compensatory damages of $380,000.