January 30, 2006

Lawyers Weekly USA recently named as its top jury verdict of 2005 the $1.45 billion award to Jenner & Block client Coleman (Parent) Holdings in its fraud suit against securities firm giant Morgan Stanley. 

In May of last year, the Florida jury unanimously awarded $604.33 million in compensatory damages and $850 million in punitive damages to CPH.  The Court entered final judgment, including prejudgment interest, in the amount of $1.58 billion against Morgan Stanley for aiding and conspiring with Sunbeam Corp. to defraud CPH into selling CPH’s interest in The Coleman Co. Inc. to Sunbeam, a client of Morgan Stanley. 

“The verdict sends a message to businesses like Morgan Stanley that dishonesty will not be tolerated in business transactions,” said Jenner & Block Chairman Jerold S. Solovy, who served as co-lead counsel for Coleman (Parent) Holdings in the case with Partner Ronald L. Marmer and Florida attorney John Scarola.

The lawsuit centered on a 1998 transaction in which CPH, a holding company controlled by Ronald O. Perelman, sold its 82% stake in Coleman to Sunbeam for $1.3 billion, including 14.1 million shares of Sunbeam stock that had an expected value in excess of $600 million.  After the transaction closed, the Sunbeam fraud began to unravel and the value of the Sunbeam stock plummeted.

The Jenner & Block legal team representing Coleman (Parent) Holdings in this case included: Partners Jerold S. Solovy, Ronald L. Marmer, Robert T. Markowski, Paul M. Smith, Robert L. Byman, Michael T. Brody, C. John Koch, Jeffrey T. Shaw, Timothy J. Chorvat, Deirdre E. Connell, Sam Hirsch, Suzanne J. Prysak, Jeremy M. Taylor and Margaret J. Simpson; Associates Denise Kirkowski Bowler, Christopher M. O’Connor, Joanne Hannaway Sweeney, Thalia L. Myrianthopoulos, Brian Hauck, Luke C. Platzer, Benjamin J. Keith, and Wade B. Gentz.