4th Circ. Undoes $22M Defamation Verdict Against Biotech Co.

4th Circ. Undoes $22M Defamation Verdict Against Biotech Co.


Law360 (June 24, 2021, 2:03 PM EDT) — The Fourth Circuit has vacated a $22 million damages verdict against Puma Biotechnology Inc. in a North Carolina shareholder’s defamation suit alleging it blamed him for fraud in an investor presentation, saying the jury’s award was excessive and in “manifest disregard” to their instructions.

In a published opinion on Wednesday, the panel found that while the statements made by Puma were indeed defamatory against Fredric Eshelman, there was no evidence to support the amount of the award, as Eshelman didn’t present evidence to show he had lost business or taken any real hit to his reputation after the presentation.

As such,…

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