This is an order filed in the case of Williams v Wyndham, a whistle-blower complaint brought by Patricia Williams.
The judge was asked to rule on Wyndham’s motion for a new trial and to reduce the jury’s award of damages. Williams is a former Wyndham employee who presented evidence to a San Francisco jury that she was fired in retaliation for reporting fraud when working at a Wyndham sales office.
After the jury entered a verdict in William’s favour, Wyndham sought to reduce the jury’s punitive damages award from $18.6 million to $130,000. The jury based its punitive damages award on evidence that Wyndham defrauded customers and sold elderly consumers more time than they could reasonably use before death. The evidence presented to the jury included sales representatives telling customers that Wyndham would buy back the timeshares it sold and that maintenance fees would not increase. Additionally, the jury heard evidence that salespersons opened credit cards for customers without their permission. In denying Wyndham’s motion for a new trial, the court ruled that Wyndham’s conduct was “highly reprehensible,” and the jury’s award was “dispassionately sound.”
Based on due process considerations, however, the judge reduced the jury’s punitive damages award to $12.8 million.
Posted on: 6th June 2019