Unanimous jury awards $128.6 million verdict for contract dispute over Kings County property
Baker, Keener & Nahra represented the plaintiff land developers in this contract dispute over approximately thirty-four square miles of agricultural land and its associated water rights. Plaintiffs contended that they entered into a contract to purchase the property but before the deal could be closed, defendant McCarthy Family Farms breached the contract and Sandridge interfered with the contract. On March 31, 2014, after a two month trial up in Kings County, the jury unanimously agreed and ordered defendants to pay $73.4 million in compensatory damages and $55.21 million in punitive damages, for a total of award of $128.6 million. Phil Baker, a partner with Baker, Keener & Nahra and lead trial attorney for this matter, said of the case: “The need and greed involving water will compel people to ignore a contract or interfere with the contractual rights of others. This jury righted those wrongs.” The $128.6 million verdict is the largest California verdicts so far in 2014 and is one of the largest verdicts to-date for Kings County.