Six Flags Over Georgia, LLC, Six Flags Fund, LTD, (L.P.), and George DeRoy, as Trustee of the Six Flags Claim Trust v. Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P., Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, Six Flags Theme Parks, Inc., and Six Flags Over Georgia, Inc., Superior Court of Gwinnett County, Georgia
The verdict awarded damages to the original investor of the limited partnership and to the general partnership in Six Flags Over Georgia amusement park against Time Warner affiliates (including Warner Bros.) for breach of fiduciary duty in Time Warner's management of the park between 1991 and 1997 when Time Warner acted as general partner. Plaintiffs proved a deliberate scheme to depress the value of the Georgia park by failing to install major rides and make appropriate capital investment. Plaintiffs proved that Time Warner took assets belonging to the partnership and used them for its own financial gain. The jury found by special interrogatory that Defendants acted with specific intent to cause harm so that the $250,000 cap on punitive damages under Georgia's Tort Reform statute was avoided. The verdict includes $197 million compensatory and $257 million punitive damages totaling $454 million.
At the time, this verdict represented the largest compensatory, punitive or combined verdict in Georgia history, surpassing the previous high held by this firm of $105 million in Moseley v. GM in 1993. Defendants never made any settlement offer. The pretrial proceedings were notable for the attempt by defendants to hide virtually all of the damaging documents under false claims of attorney-client privilege and work product. Plaintiffs were successful in unmasking these. The court struck or defendants withdrew thousands of such bogus claims after an exhaustive pretrial discovery battle. Defendants appealed the verdict and the Georgia Court of Appeals twice affirmed the judgment in its entirety. On April 21, 2003, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari and the judgment was paid and satisfied in full by defendants. With interest, the collected, paid judgment exceeded $640 million, making it one of the, if not the, largest verdicts ever affirmed and paid in its entirety.
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