On June 5, 2014, the Fourteenth Court of Appeals ruled in favor Yetter Coleman’s clients and reversed the district court’s order granting JNOV in favor of a defendant in a multi-million dollar lender-liability case brought by the investors in a company that bought three Texas hospitals.
At trial, the investors alleged that First National Bank of Edinburg; Merensky Reef Hospital Corporation, a healthcare management group; and Eric Yollick, an agent of the bank, committed fraud that resulted in the defendants wrongfully taking from the investors’ their ownership interests in the company that owned the hospitals. The jury awarded the six investors over $19.1 million in actual damages and $57 million in punitive damages, which included $5.7 million in punitive damages against Yollick. The district court entered judgment on the verdict against the bank and Merensky Reef. But the district court granted Yollick’s motion for JNOV and held that the investors take nothing on their claims against him.
The Fourteenth Court of Appeals reversed the portion of the district court’s judgment that the investors take nothing on their claims against Yollick and ordered that the district court should enter judgment on the verdict against him and in favor of the investor-plaintiffs. The court of appeals held that the district court erred in granting Yollick’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict because there was sufficient evidence to support the jury’s finding that Yollick committed fraud and that Yollick’s alternative arguments in support of affirmance failed as a matter of law or did not otherwise support affirmance of the judgment.
Yetter Coleman attorneys Marc Tabolsky and Dori Goldman represented the investors on appeal. They were joined on the briefs by trial counsel, Mike McCauley and Tim Pridmore with McWhorter, Cobb & Johnson, Pat Zummo of the Law Offices of Patrick Zummo and Zona Jones of Provost Umphrey.