In a case that has its roots in the financial and housing crisis nearly 10 years ago, three Texas law firms were able to achieve justice for a real estate developer who had been a victim of banking fraud.
The plaintiffs, developer David Bagwell and partnerships he spearheaded, 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.
The legal team convinced a jury that the defendants, BBVA Compass bank and one of its executives committed fraud during loan renewal and modification negotiations with Bagwell in his development of luxury subdivisions in northeast Tarrant County.
presented evidence that a BBVA Compass executive repeatedly misled Mr. Bagwell into believing his loans were being renewed. Based on those promises, Mr. Bagwell did not seek other financing.
Jurors heard testimony that the bank was simultaneously negotiating in secret to sell the loans at a substantial discount to a competing developer. After acquiring the discounted loans, the developer foreclosed on Mr. Bagwell’s three properties and forced him into bankruptcy.
“Emails from Compass connected the dots for this jury,” said Mr. Boyd. “We were able to show that while Mr. Bagwell was actively trying to work with the bank to keep these developments operating, Compass was misleading him and working behind his back to sell his debt to a competitor.”
The $98.02 million verdict included $37.86 million to Mr. Bagwell and $20.16 million to related business entities. The jury returned $40 million in punitive damages after finding that the bank’s fraudulent actions caused harm to the parties. The case is David Bagwell et al v. BBVA Compass and Sam Meade, Cause No. DC-14-00991 in the 101st Judicial District Court in Dallas County.