A U.S. appeals court upheld a $1 billion punitive damages award to Motorola Inc against the Uzan family of Turkey on Wednesday.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said the lower court "properly applied the variety of factors relevant to state and federal law."
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff had awarded the punitive damages against certain members of the Uzan family, which ran Turkey's second-largest mobile phone operator, Telsim, and a media and banking empire.
Rakoff had concluded that the defendants fraudulently obtained loans from Motorola for more than $2 billion and from Nokia for about $800 million.
Rakoff had said the family used a "campaign of lies and misrepresentations to swindle Motorola," but in February 2006 he cut the punitive award to $1 billion from $2.1 billion.
"Judge Rakoff's findings establish beyond cavil the extraordinary nature of the Uzans' wrongful behavior and form a valid basis for the substantial punitive award of $1 billion against them," Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi wrote in a 23-page opinion.