NEW YORK - A Phoenix court has called for the retrial of a negligence case that resulted in a $338 million judgment against Price Waterhouse.

Last May a state jury in Phoenix found the accounting company negligent in its audits of United Bank of Arizona. It ordered Price to pay the judgment to Standard Chartered PLC, which acquired United Bank subsequent to the audits.

Price said Wednesday that Judge John R. Sticht of the Superior Court of Arizona has granted the company's motion for a new trial. As a result, the company said, no judgment will be entered against it.

Judge Sticht found that the jury verdicts were so "irreconcilably inconsistent" as to be "blatantly erroneous," necessitating a new trial on both liability and damages, Price said.

A Standard Chartered spokesman said the London bank was "disappointed that there is to be a retrial on what appears to be a technicality, especially in view of the jury's overwhelming support for seven of the eight claims we submitted.

"While respecting the judge's decision, we remain confident in our claims and will be pressing forward to recover the full amounts, together with the interest now accruing."

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