Dow Jones Newswires

PHILADELPHIA -- First Union Corp. was ordered by a Philadelphia jury to pay New York mortgage warehouse lender Pioneer Commercial Funding Corp. $350.9 million because of an alleged mishandling of funds.

The award, handed down late Wednesday in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, includes $13.4 million in compensatory damages and $337.5 million in a punitive award.

First Union said in a statement it will appeal.

The case centers around the way CoreStates Financial Corp., which First Union acquired in 1998, handled about $1.7 million that had been wired to a client of Pioneer's. CoreStates allegedly froze the funds because Pioneer's client owed the bank money, leaving Pioneer unable to access the money.

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