Sands Corp. is getting a new trial in the case filed by Hong Kong businessman Richard Suen.
This was after the Las Vegas-based casino operator persuaded the Nevada Supreme Court to overturn a 2013 jury verdict that ordered Sands to pay $70 million to Suen, who claimed to have helped the company win permission to operate in Macau.
Last week, the high court announced “there wasn’t sufficient evidence to justify the $70 million in damages a jury awarded in Richard Suen in 2013 and that a new trial was needed,” Bloomberg reported.
The 2013 decision was actually the second time Suen triumphed over Las Vegas Sands. In 2008, the businessman was also awarded $43.8 million, but that verdict was also overturned by the Nevada Supreme court two years later.
In his lawsuit, Suen claimed he was responsible for tipping Las Vegas Sands about Macau’s potential back in the early 200’s, which was around the time the government of the special administrative region was mulling about ending Stanley Ho’s monopoly on gaming in the city state.
Suen said the casino operator promised him $5 million and 2 percent of its Macau casino profits if he would help the company receive a gaming license. Sands didn’t dispute that it had promised Suen a “success fee” nor that Suen had arranged meetings between the casino executives and officials in Beijing.
However, Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson, who testified during the second trial, said Suen had nothing to do with helping the company get the license, according to the Bloomberg report. The casino operator also insisted that it obtained the Macau license on its own merits, not as a result of any action that Suen took.
Had the Supreme Court not intervene, Sands would’ve had to pay Suen a total of $101.6 million because the judge who oversaw the 2013 trial added $31.6 million in interest to the $70 million jury award. Now, it’s back to the court again for the notoriously combative Adelson and Suen, who refuses to back down until he gets his “success fee.”