Las Vegas Sands

Adelson's Las Vegas Sands asks US court to scrap US$101.6m Suen verdict

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 3:56am

Las Vegas Sands asked a trial judge to set aside a US$101.6 million verdict in favour of a Hong Kong businessman who won a trial over claims that he helped the casino operator win its gaming licence in Macau.

Sands, in a filing on Friday in Nevada state court in Las Vegas, argued that the jury awarded the damages for services rendered to Round Square, Richard Suen's company, rather than to Suen himself.

Round Square had been dismissed from the case before an earlier trial in 2008 and had not been reinstated on that damages theory, Sands said.

"Because the jury's verdict purports to grant relief only on a putative claim that was long ago dismissed, and never validly reinstated, the verdict must be set aside as a matter of law," the filing said.

The jury awarded US$70 million in damages on May 14 to Suen's company, and Clark county judge Rob Bare added US$31.6 million in prejudgment interest on May 28.

It was Suen's second trial win over claims that meetings he helped set up for Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson with Chinese leaders in Beijing in 2001 were instrumental in Sands winning a licence to own and operate casinos in Macau the following year.

Round Square had been reinstated by the Nevada Supreme Court on appeal after the first trial only with respect to its breach-of-contract claim, not the quantum meruit claim for the value of the services provided to Sands in gaining the licence, the casino operator said in its filing.

"Suen's own trial testimony, in which he acknowledged that he asserted a quantum meruit claim on his own behalf, rather than on Round Square's, confirms that Suen provided services on an individual basis, rather than in his capacity as a Round Square director," Sands said in the filing.