Saturday, April 7, 2018
JPMorgan Chase & Co. will likely face a judgement of no more than $90 million for their flubbed management of Max Hopper’s estate. While this remains a substantial sum of money, it is nowhere near the $8 billion a jury awarded to Hopper’s family and estate at trial. Hopper’s widow, Jo Hopper, along with Stephen Hopper and Laura Wassmer, recently sought court approval to lower their awarded damages. In spite of this, JPMorgan is seeking to have the judgement entirely reversed.
The issues with Hopper’s estate began when he died intestate. His family hired JPMorgan to administer the estate, where “the bank took years to release basic interests in art, home furnishings, jewelry, and notably, Mr. Hopper’s collection of 6,700 golf putters and 900 bottles of wine. Some of the interests in the assets were not released for more than five years.’’ At trial, a probate court jury awarded $2 billion to Stephen Hopper, Jo Hopper, Laura Wassmer, and the Hopper estate, which represents the ninth-largest jury verdict in U.S. history.
See Margaret Crown Fisk & Tom Korosec, JPMorgan's $8 Billion Jury Loss To Widow Faces Massive Reduction, Financial Advisor, March 30, 2018.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.