Court Upholds $1B Judgment for Motorola

Rejects claim that fraud damages amount to 'economic death sentence'
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2007 4:29 AM CST
Motorola cell phone.   ((c) Titanas)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A federal appeals court has upheld a finding of $1 billion in punitive damages against the Uzan family of Turkey for defrauding Motorola out of $2 billion in start-up loans, the Wall Street Journal reports. The family had argued that the damages were so high that they amounted to an excessive "economic death sentence," which violated due process.

"Appellants have failed to demonstrate that the award exceeds their ability to pay," the court ruled. A judge reduced the damages last year from the original $4.26 billion. Motorola charges that the Uzans borrowed $2.7 billion to build a wireless infrastructure in Turkey, but lined their pockets with the funds instead.