General Growth Properties Inc. says it plans to appeal a recent $74 million verdict and $15 million punitive damage award by a California jury in a lawsuit alleging intimidation by the real estate investment trust.A Superior Court jury in Los Angeles awarded the compensatory damages in a suit filed against General Growth Properties by Caruso Affiliated Holdings LLC involving Glendale Galleria, a California mall. The suit alleged that the company intimidated The Cheesecake Factory while it was exploring leasing at The Americana at Brand and interfered with Caruso's business using unfair business practices. General Growth owns the Glendale Galleria adjacent to Caruso's Americana at Brand, a $369 million retail building in downtown Glendale. "The company emphatically disagrees with the jury's verdict and will pursue review and reversal through every available means," General Growth said. The case has been in court for over three years. Rick J. Caruso, chief executive of Caruso Affiliated, said he hopes that "by fighting this case we will have set a precedent throughout the retail industry that the giant REITs can no longer use intimidation to squash competition. They will have to play fair on a level playing field with the rest of us."

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the mortgage industry

30-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the mortgage industry