Last year JPMorgan lost an estate administration lawsuit. The damages against it were the 9th largest jury verdict in U.S. history. The bank may not be required to pay nearly the amount the jury awarded.
Sometimes in the American judicial system, juries can become overzealous when it comes to the amount damages they order a losing company to pay. The verdict amounts these juries award makes headlines. However, later in the legal process, the damages are reduced by judges or by agreement of the parties.
A recent example was the case of the Hopper estate versus JPMorgan tried before a Texas jury last year. JPMorgan had been hired to administer the estate, but disputes developed between the heirs and the firm. The heirs sued and a jury in probate court came down with an $8 billion verdict against JPMorgan.
Private Wealth discusses the case in "JPMorgan's $8 Billion Jury Loss To Widow Faces Massive Reduction."
Despite that large number, which was the 9th largest jury award in U.S. history, JPMorgan is likely to pay no more than $90 million. All the plaintiffs in the case have filed motions with the court to severely reduce the amount the jury awarded them.
It is not clear from the reporting, but these motions likely followed negotiations with JPMorgan and were agreed upon to avoid further litigation. As a result of protracted litigation, the heirs to the Hopper estate would necessarily be required to wait much longer to receive their awards.
Reductions to eye-popping jury awards like this are very common. This is something to keep in mind the next time you read a headline about a jury awarding a massive amount of damages.
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Reference: Private Wealth (March 30, 2018) "JPMorgan's $8 Billion Jury Loss To Widow Faces Massive Reduction."