Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., the nation's largest brokerage house, said today it will appeal a $4 million judgement awarded against it by a federal jury in Denver.
The jury on Monday assessed $4 million in damages in a civil lawsuit in which the brokerage frim was charged with fraud and deceit.
Mrs. Jung Ja Malandris had charged Merrill Lynch invested her money without her knowledge. She was awarded $1 million in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages.
Her attorney, William Fishman, had sought punitive damages of $10 million and urged the jury to "make an example" of Merrill Lynch.
Merrill Lynch said in a statement that "we totally disagree with the jury's decision."
"Merrill Lynch is proceeding immediately with its post trail motions to set this verdict aside," a spokesman said. "Merrill Lynch plans to vigorously pursue every avenue of appeal at its disposal to reverse this decision."
Mrs. Malandris, a 34-year-old Korean immigrant, suffered "permanent" emotional damage after learning in 1973 that she had lost $31,000 in the stock market, according to a psychiatrist who examined her.
In 1968 Mrs. Malandris and her husband invested their savings in 2,800 shares of United Airlines stock, according to trial testimony.