Former Automaker Ordered To Pay $10.3 Million to Former Attorney
DETROIT (AP) _ Former auto executive John Z. DeLorean says he’ll appeal a federal jury’s order that he pay $10.3 million to a lawyer he claims gave him incompetent legal help.
``It’s just completely out of line,″ DeLorean told the Detroit Free Press in an article published Thursday.
Mayer Morganroth represented DeLorean in dozens of court cases since 1982. He sued last year to recover unpaid legal fees, seeking up to $31.2 million in fees and damages. He said he was pleased with Wednesday’s decision.
The U.S. District Court jury ordered DeLorean to pay Morganroth $5.3 million in lost fees and $5 million in punitive damages.
``This is a great verdict because it proves that John DeLorean has to pay his bills just like anybody else,″ said Morganroth’s lawyer Ellen Nadler.
DeLorean, who did not appear during the Detroit trial, contended that Morganroth’s legal advice that cost him millions.
DeLorean, 69, was a General Motors executive until 1973. The following year, he founded his own company that built stainless steel sports cars bearing his name at a plant in Northern Ireland.
DeLorean’s company collapsed in 1982, when he was arrested in Los Angeles on cocaine trafficking charges. He was acquitted.