The hard work of many Texas lawyers and firms has been upheld by a Dallas judge in a major bank fraud case. On June 27, Dallas County State District Court Judge Staci Williams entered a $96.2 million judgment against BBVA Compass Bank and one of its executives in a ruling that upholds the majority of a December 2017 jury verdict against BBVA Compass Bank for fraud during loan renewal and modification negotiations with the developer of three northeast Tarrant County subdivisions.
The motion preserves all but one portion of the original $98 million jury verdict and adds pre- and post-verdict interest. Trial jurors agreed that Compass and bank executive Sam Meade committed fraud by misleading developer David Bagwell as he worked to renegotiate the terms and conditions of his financing for high-end housing projects including the Broughton, Whittier Heights, and Old Grove subdivision developments in Colleyville, Texas.
Bagwell and the partnerships were represented by a trial team including Derrick Boyd, Kristy Campbell and Matt Meyer of Boyd, Powers & Williamson of Decatur, Texas; appellate counsel Jeffrey Levinger of Levinger PC of Dallas; and attorney Jeffrey T. Hall of Dallas. Two related entities intervened in the lawsuit and were represented by Peyton Healey of Powers Taylor LLP of Dallas.
Attorneys for the Texas law firm Boyd, Powers & Williamson presented evidence that BBVA Compass deceived Mr. Bagwell about the status of efforts to refinance his loans, which occurred during the 2008-2009 financial crisis and real estate downturn. According to evidence and trial testimony, Mr. Meade assured Mr. Bagwell that his loans were being renewed while the bank was simultaneously working in secret to sell the loans at a steep discount to a competing developer. Once the new developer acquired the debt, Mr. Bagwell was forced into bankruptcy and lost his properties.
In addition to actual damages suffered by Bagwell and associated partnerships, the judgment preserves the jury’s $40 million exemplary damages award meant to punish Compass and deter future behavior.