A Montana district court issued an order to uphold a verdict that First Interstate BancSystem in Billings, Mont., must pay $17 million in damages in a dispute with a former customer.
The order, issued April 21, denied the $8.6 billion-asset companys post-trial motion after Judge Ed McLean reviewed the punitive damages. In addition to the $17 million in compensatory and punitive damages, the judge also upheld $7 million in attorneys fees and $90,000 in costs First Interstate was ordered to pay.
Ed Garding, First Interstates president and chief executive, said the company plans to appeal to the Montana Supreme Court.
We are very disappointed with the ruling, Garding said in a press release Wednesday. We believe the verdict was wrong and should have been reduced substantially by the Court. We have been advised by our counsel that we have a good case on appeal.
The verdict, issued last August, stems from a lawsuit in which Kelly Logging alleged that First Interstate took $762,000 out of its checking account to pay a note that was current. In a regulatory filing, First Interstate said it had recorded $4 million in litigation-related loss contingency expenses in 2014 due to the case.