Tuesday, June 20, 2000

Judge supports jury's award to Corporex Cos.

Panel decides on $41M in damages

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman said Monday in court documents that he supports a federal jury's decision to award Covington's Corporex Cos. Inc. $41 million in damages.

        Corporex's case against Raymond James & Associates, a St. Petersburg, Fla., investment company, went to trial in March.

        Corporex had sued Raymond James claiming breach of contract, fraud and the making of false statements. The allegations stemmed from a 1993 mortgage loan agreement between the two companies.

        Raymond James agreed to loan Corporex money to refinance the 236,000-square-foot Grand Baldwin Building at Gilbert Avenue and Eden Park Drive in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Walnut Hills.

        Corporex later obtained a $16.2 million, 15-year mortgage on the Baldwin Building from General American Life Insurance of St. Louis.

        Corporex chairman Bill Butler said his family was pleased with Judge Bertelsman's decision.

        “While we expect an appeal, we are confident that both Judge Bertelsman, (his) decision and the jury's unanimous verdict will be upheld,” Mr. Butler said.

        Bill Robinson, an attorney who represented Corporex, called the judge's decision a victory for the community.

        “The public cannot comprehend the difficulty and loss imposed on Corporex at an acute period of an unprecedented credit crunch in the commercial real estate industry during the early '90s,” Mr. Robinson said.

        In court documents filed Monday, Judge Bertelsman also said that Raymond James and its attorney, Eric Holzapfel, had been found “in civil and criminal contempt for deliberate disobedience.”


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