Richmond, VA

ABC Food Lion verdict reversed

October 21, 1999
First Amendment advocates cheered the reversal of a jury verdict that found ABC committed fraud by sending undercover journalists to do a hidden-camera expose of a supermarket chain.
    "This lawsuit was an attempted end-run around the First Amendment," Floyd Abrams, a New York media lawyer, said following the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Wednesday.
    The appeals court threw out a $315,000 judgment in punitive damages against ABC over a 1992 "PrimeTime Live" story about the Food Lion chain, an award that a judge had earlier reduced from $5.5 million. The ruling left only $2 of the jury's original award.

Insurance bias suit nets $100M judgment

October 26, 1998
The first Fair Housing Act lawsuit involving discrimination in the provision of homeowners insurance has resulted in a jury verdict of $100.5 million.
     The case, brought by Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) of Richmond, alleged that Nationwide Insurance discriminated against homeowners in predominantly black neighborhoods in the Richmond area. The jury deliberated for about three hours before returning the verdict after a two-week trial.

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