|Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer|
Wednesday, March 05, 2003
Leona Helmsley - Round II
The judge said the jury award -- which included $10 million in punitive damages -- probably resulted from what he called Helmsley's "belligerence" on the witness stand and her "accompanying sneer," which annoyed the jury and succeeded "in keeping the specter of the Queen of Mean alive in the courtroom." "Punitive damages are not a game of Lotto," he wrote, "and more particularly to the matter at hand, Mrs. Helmsley is not a $4 billion pinata for every John, Patrick or Charlie to poke a stick at in the hopes of hitting the jackpot."
For a different picture of the story (literally) check out the New York Post's version. Both sides will appeal. Perhaps overlooked in the shuffle, $500,000 plus is still not an insubstantial sum of money.