WARRENTON, Va. - Southern Financial Bancorp said a Fauquier County, Va., jury returned an unfavorable verdict against the company on Aug. 29 in a lender liability lawsuit filed by a former customer.

In a press release Wednesday, the company said the jury's verdict recommended that the plaintiff receive $2.1 million in compensatory damages plus unspecified punitive damages.

The company said the court has yet to enter an order, because Southern Financial Bank is seeking to set the verdict aside through post-trial motions.

Southern Financial's attorneys have advised it that the jury's punitive damage award exceeds the $350,000 maximum permitted under Virginia law, and the jury's compensatory damage award is not in accord with the law or the evidence presented at trial, the company said.

An adverse decision by the trial judge could have hurt its earnings, but will not affect its financial condition, Southern Financial said. The bank plans to vigorously appeal any judgment issued against it.

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