Nevada’s highest court has reiterated its March decision to order a new hearing regarding a damages claim by a Hong Kong businessman against Las Vegas Sands Corp. Richard Suen argues he helped the U.S.-based casino company get a Macau gaming licence.
The latest Nevada Supreme Court ruling was dated July 22, reported Reuters.
In its March decision, the Nevada Supreme Court had found “insufficient evidence” to support a 2013 jury verdict in a lower court that found in favour of Mr Suen and Round Square Co Ltd, a company he partially owned. The state’s top court called at the time for a review of the verdict, but did not overturn an order from the lower court made in 2013 that Las Vegas Sands must pay damages.
In a six-week trial that ended in mid-May 2013, a jury in Clark County District Court, Nevada, awarded Mr Suen US$70 million for work he said he did more than a decade earlier to help Las Vegas Sands secure its gaming licence in Macau.
Mr Suen had sued Las Vegas Sands in 2004, claiming he had arranged meetings in Beijing between the company chairman and chief executive Sheldon Adelson and Chinese officials that helped pave the way for the firm to operate casinos in Macau.
With court fees and interest accruing since the case was filed in 2004, the award – if upheld – would have exceeded more than US$100 million, according to media reports in March.
The 2013 judgement was the second time that a Nevada jury had awarded Mr Suen damages. In 2010, the state supreme court had voided an order for Las Vegas Sands to pay US$43.8 million in damages, citing errors by the trial judge.
In its July 22 decision, Nevada’s top court said there was not substantial evidence to support the value of Mr Suen and Round Square’s services amounted to US$70 million; but the court also declined to reduce the damages award to US$1 million as proposed by Las Vegas Sands, reported Reuters.
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