Las Vegas Review Journal Excerpt

A man who sued the estate of Las Vegas developer, William Peccole, over profits from the Queensridge land venture in Northwest Las Vegas was awarded $33 million in damages by a Clark County civil jury on Wednesday.

The amount may be the largest civil verdict ever awarded by a jury in Southern Nevada. District Attorney, Stewart Bell, who has practiced law in the county for 30 years, said on Wednesday afternoon that he is not aware of a larger monetary verdict in the county's history.

The attorneys representing Peccole's estate and business interests said they will seek relief from the verdict in the courtroom of District Judge Michael Cherry, who oversaw the six-week trial.

"There are some legal issues that are still outstanding," said attorney Marc Cook, who represented the estate of William Peccole during the proceedings. "I don't want to presume too much at this point about the jury's thought process."

Case Orgins

According to court filings and the parties involved, the case started in late 1992 and early 1993, when a Canadian man, David Stoddart, went to work for Peccole. Peccole, who was one of the most prominent developers in the Las Vegas Valley, died in December 1999.

Stoddart was to help develop the Queensridge land project, which is a parcel of about 1,100 acres in the northwest part of the valley. Queensridge encompasses several commercial interests, including the Queensridge housing development and the Badlands Golf Course. Part of the multimillion dollar project includes the land that the Suncoast Hotel & Casino is on.

The issue during the trial was whether Stoddart was hired by Peccole as a consultant, or whether he was offered a partnership in the Queensridge project, as Stoddart claimed.

Stoddart's attorney, Richard McKnight, said Stoddart and Peccole met in 1992 at the Country Inn on Rainbow Boulevard, where they agreed that Stoddart would become a partner in the venture. There was no written contract.

McKnight said Stoddart was dismissed from the project in 1995 and cut out of profits after Peccole's business interests realized millions were to be made. Peccole's attorneys denied the claims in court proceedings. Find out more about this case when you read the

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