Trials & Litigation

BDO Socked With $351 M in Punitives


Updated: A Miami jury has ordered BDO Seidman to pay $351 million in punitive damages for failing to uncover fraud at a financial services firm.

With punitives, the total damages award now comes to $521 million, the Associated Press reports. (See this ABAJournal.com post for more information on the $170 million compensatory verdict.)

BDO plans an appeal.

Jurors heard testimony yesterday from BDO executives as they assessed evidence in the punitive phase of the trial. Financial statements showed BDO made a $176 million profit on revenue of $526 million last year, the Daily Business Review reports.

The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports that the award against BDO “casts a shadow over its future financial viability.”

BDO CEO Jack Weisbaum testified that a punitive verdict could have big repercussions. “The company couldn’t pay punitive damages,” he testified. “We certainly wouldn’t look the way we do now.”

Originally posted 08-15-2007 at 06:34 AM.

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