"This Is Unprecedented": JPMorgan Slams "Stunning" $8 Billion Damage Verdict Against It

Here’s a live transmission from the Texas courtroom where JP Morgan Chase & Co’s lawyers are asking a judge to throw out one of the largest punitive judgments in legal history...

...Instead, the bank's lawyers say the $8 billion judgment should be reduced to zero.

“The law and evidence do not support any claim against JPMorgan, much less the unprecedented multi-billion-dollar punitive damage award, which the heirs have already admitted is unconstitutionally excessive,” the bank said in a filing in Dallas probate court according to Bloomberg.

Back in September, the bank was ordered to pay at least $4 billion in punitive damages, approximately $4.7 million in actual damages, and $5 million in attorney fees after a six-person jury found that the bank committed fraud, breached its fiduciary duty and broke a fee agreement, according to court papers in its handling of the $20 million estate of former airline executive Max Hopper, who died suddenly in 2010 without a will.

And - confirming that much of America does not hold Wall Street in high regard - the jurors awarded a total $8 billion in punitive damages against the bank.

Hopper, who pioneered the SABRE reservation system for American Airlines, died in 2010 with assets of more than $19 million but without a will and testament, according to the statement. JPMorgan was hired as an administrator to divvy up the assets among family members. “Instead of independently and impartially collecting and dividing the estate’s assets, the bank took years to release basic interests in art, home furnishings, jewelry, and notably, Mr. Hopper’s collection of 6,700 golf putters and 900 bottles of wine,” the family’s lawyers said in the statement. “Some of the interests in the assets were not released for more than five years."

The bank's incompetence caused more than just unacceptably long timelines; bank representatives failed to meet financial deadlines for the assets under their control. In at least one instance, stock options were allowed to expire. In others, Mrs. Hopper's wishes to sell certain stock were ignored. The resulting losses, the jury found, resulted in actual damages and mental anguish suffered by Mrs. Hopper. With respect to Mr. Hopper's adult children, the jury found that they lost potential inheritance in excess of $3 million when the Bank chose to pay its lawyers' legal fees out of the estate account to defend claims against the Bank for violating its fiduciary duty.

Two of Hopper’s children, who died without a will, have already asked that the damages for them and their father’s estate be reduced to about $74 million, while his widow has yet to weigh in with any adjustment.

JPMorgan said the jury “accepted to the penny, the extraordinary invitation” of the family’s legal team to award the $8 billion without doing any “independent analysis,” according to Thursday’s filing. The bank previously said it was “highly confident” the verdict wouldn’t stand under Texas law.

JPMorgan denied any wrongdoing, saying it acted in good faith on the Hopper estate.

“The crux of the lawsuit is whether sparring survivors of a decedent may blame an independent administrator for seeking judicial guidance on a distribution issue about which the survivors disagree,” the bank said in Thursday’s filing.

The $8 billion award is the largest jury verdict of 2017 so far.


847328_3527 Lumberjack Sun, 11/12/2017 - 16:01 Permalink

At least it sends a message the little peeples are fed up. Bush and Obama handed "unprecedented" bailouts to these Fraudsters while they gave the little peeple.....zero. I am sure the appellate court will reduce the dmages but one can never be sure. In any case, it does send a shock to the corrupt bankers, at least for a while.

In reply to by Lumberjack

Rubicon727 Lumberjack Sun, 11/12/2017 - 18:06 Permalink

I say true justiice be meted out to Jamie Dimon, and all his bankster corporate elites. Throw them ALL in  Ryker's Island prison and throw away all the keys. Let them rot in Eternal Damnation for the crimes they've perpetrated against millions of people. And while we're t it --let's throw B.Gates, George Soros, the entire Goldman Sachs upper eschelon banksters *and* that thief  Warren Buffett in there, too. 

In reply to by Lumberjack

ImGumbydmmt Rubicon727 Sun, 11/12/2017 - 22:24 Permalink

agree.back in 2011 JPM was fined $5billion, the "Big news" was that single fine erased all of their PROFIT for one quarter of the year.$5b is just the Profits on a 1/4 of a year. Not exactly devestating. and they seem to have bounced back "marvelously"So like above mention, they can "afford" to write the check, but that can more easily afford the legal team to tie it up for YEARS. Reducing it is sensible ot get the plantiff paid on the spot.So I wouyld maintain either $8b is NOT EVEN A FRACTION OF ENOUGH to begin to to punish such an institution.Therefore Reform will only come via a dozen fortnights with Dimon himself enjoying the pleasures of having Bubba as a room mate.Even better if they can find a room full of Bubba's whose momma lost the family home in a JPM foreclosure.THEN we would see Justice AND Reform.As long as Dimon can Smirk and say "thats why i moake more money than you"NOTHING will Change.Doesn't Anyone Know his address?   

In reply to by Rubicon727

effendi mkkby Sun, 11/12/2017 - 18:07 Permalink

Punitive damages of 4 billion is just. It's a big enough sum to make the management of this bank and others sit up a realise that they need to fix their methods, but not so big that it bankrupts the company. Under a 100 million and it is a rounding error to the profits of the bank and a green light to continue the fraud. As for actual damages a sum of 10-20 million (plus legal expenses) is more realistic

In reply to by mkkby

343 Guilty Spark mkkby Sun, 11/12/2017 - 20:18 Permalink

200 million in punitive damages and a court order to stating they cannot do this ever again should be enough.  Not because it is a slap on the wrist but because a company that disobeys a court order in such a way can lead to an injunction of the corporation, which would shut it down and prevent JPMorgan from doing business. Oddly enough it is light enough to nearly ensure that JPMorgan will do it again and then they can get tied up in legal for x amount of years fighting the federal government.  In addition to that, any legal defense that they are too big to fail would give additional ammunition for the federal governement to break up the bank and relook at other banks in the same light. 

In reply to by mkkby

Ex-Oligarch 343 Guilty Spark Sun, 11/12/2017 - 21:09 Permalink

A hypothetical court order that duplicates existing law against fraud, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty will do nothing to alter JPM's behavior or legal responsibilities.And who, exactly, do you expect to police and enforce your hypothetical court order?  The plaintiffs aren't going to do it.  The court isn't going to do it.  Do you imagine that the same regulators that permitted this misconduct previously are going to do it?

In reply to by 343 Guilty Spark

ReasonForLife Sun, 11/12/2017 - 15:10 Permalink

Sure Jamie, and Bitcoin's the fraud eh?  I believe the psychological term "Projection" is most appropriate here, viz:"Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others."