Koch loses US$12m in damages
1st April, 2014 by Rupert Millar
US billionaire Bill Koch has lost nearly $12 million in damages he had initially won in a lawsuit against a fellow wine collector.
According to the Guardian, a federal judge, Paul Oetken, took the side of Eric Greenberg who had appealed on the grounds that the initial award given to Koch (above) was “exorbitant”.
Oetken said that while the jury’s initial verdict was correct, Greenberg’s conduct, “did not cause particularly egregious harm he was dealing in luxury goods marketed to a sophisticated and wealthy subset of the population.
“The harm was strictly economic, and the victims were far from vulnerable consumers. These facts merit a relatively low award of punitive damages.”
Koch took Greenberg to court in spring 2013 accusing him of selling fake Bordeaux, 24 bottles of which Koch had bought, including 1811, 1864 and 1865 Latour and a magnum of 1921 Pétrus.
The wines were sold to Koch at a Zachys auction in October 2005, Koch and Zachys settled out of court.
In April last year a jury awarded Koch $12.4m in damages and this has now been reduced to $924,321, Oetken also refused to allow Koch to recoup $7.9m in lawyer’s fees that had been accumulated over the three week trial.