Jury Awards Jackson Walker Client in Real Estate Fraud Suit

May 25, 2011 | Client Results

Jackson Walker secured a courtroom victory for prominent Fort Worth neurosurgeon George Cravens on May 16, when a Tarrant County jury found that Dr. Cravens had been defrauded by a Dallas development group in his bid to build a state-of-the-art specialty neurosurgical hospital in the heart of Fort Worth.

Related: Jackson Walker’s Client Victory Named a ‘Top Texas Verdict’ in 2011 »

At the conclusion of a five-week trial, the jury awarded Dr. Cravens more than $10 million in his suit against Richard Myers, Darrell Lake, Rian Maguire, RCC Medical #1 GenPar LLC, Realty Capital Corporation, and Realty Capital Partners LLC.

Dr. Cravens founded the Center for Neurological Disorders and has been a pioneer in bringing advanced neurological care to Fort Worth. Recognizing the advantages that a specialty hospital would provide to patients in the area, Dr. Cravens entered into discussions with the development group in 2007 and eventually agreed to give up control of the property housing his medical practice and the location for the hospital to a limited partnership controlled by the Myers group based upon misrepresentations that Lake and Maguire had prior hospital development experience and that Myers would provide the construction funding and equity necessary for development of the hospital. By December of 2009, it became clear that the defendants had failed to obtain construction financing, attract investors, and raise or provide equity for the project as promised, and the lawsuit was filed.

In court, Jackson Walker’s trial team presented expert testimony from Glen Hahn, President and CEO of Innovative Developers Inc., and Dr. Wayne Ruhter, an economist with Ruhter & Reynolds. Based on the facts of the case, the jury found the defendants liable for fraud, statutory fraud, securities fraud, breach of contract, promissory estoppel, and unjust enrichment from the failed partnership, and awarded the plaintiffs $8.98 million, plus $1.4 million in attorney fees.

Representing the plaintiffs were Jackson Walker attorneys Albon HeadWilliam Jenkins, and Sara Abbott McEown, with Carter L. Hampton serving as co-counsel. Representing the defendants were Kelly, Hart & Hallman LLP of Fort Worth and Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons from Dallas.