A Montana court has affirmed a jury verdict that had found Comerica Bank (CMA) responsible for putting one of its commercial clients out of business.
A Silver Bow County District Court judge on Thursday agreed with a jury's ruling that Comerica violated terms of its contract with Masters Group International, an office supply manufacturer based in Butte, Mont., and must pay Masters Group $52 million in damages.
The Masters Group lawsuit claimed that in 2008 Comerica breached a contract agreement to delay the collection of a $10.5 million line of credit. The Butte jury concurred with that claim, and also found Comerica misrepresented its ability to use federal bailout money to help the distressed borrower, and seized its bank accounts without notice or need.
The jury ruled that Comerica "had not been truthful with Masters" about its ability to use any of the $2.25 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program money it received from the federal government "to help Masters and other current customers."
By affirming the decision the judge denied Comerica's appeal to reverse the January 2014 verdict. Comerica, however, has already filed another appeal to contest the judge's decision in the Montana Supreme Court.
Comerica, based in Dallas, will pay Masters $52 million of which: $41.5 million in compensatory damages and $10.5 million in punitive damages for its alleged conduct.