(Bloomberg) -- How much JPMorgan Chase & Co. will pay to make an $8 billion jury award go away may never be publicly known -- but it almost certainly won’t be more than $90 million.
The bank this week reached a confidential settlement with the children of a deceased American Airlines executive who persuaded jurors in September to sock the company with the biggest U.S. verdict of 2017 over claims that it mismanaged Max Hopper’s $19 million estate.
The children were seeking about $74 million after conceding that the $6 billion in punitive damages the jury awarded to them and their father’s estate wasn’t legally defensible under rulings by the Texas and U.S. courts.
Lawyers for Hopper’s widow, Jo, who didn’t reach a settlement, spent the last two days fighting with the bank in Dallas probate court over her demand for $14.4 million in damages, down from the $2 billion the jury awarded. JPMorgan argued that she deserved “zero dollars and zero cents,” saying it did nothing wrong. The judge didn’t indicate when she will issue a ruling.
A 26-year-old insurance agent who served on the jury told Bloomberg News the $8 billion verdict was meant to “send a message” to the bank “to prevent this from happening again.” She said she wasn’t worried that the family members were willing to accept less, saying, “I’m sure they’re trying to be fair.”
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