Don’t Mess With J.R.: Citi Gets Hit for $11.6 Million
Call it J.R. Ewing’s revenge.
The actor Larry Hagman, who played the rapacious oil baron in the 1980s hit series “Dallas,” won $11.6 million in a securities arbitration case against Citigroup, according to a ruling from a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority panel.
The ruling against Citigroup Global Markets, released on Wednesday, includes $1.1 million in compensatory damages for Mr. Hagman and $10 million in punitive damages to be donated to the charities of Mr. Hagman’s choice. Citigroup must also pay about $460,000 in legal fees and other costs.
Mr. Hagman, along with two trusts and two individual retirement accounts in his name, filed the claim in May 2009. He alleged breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, fraud by misrepresentation and failure to supervise, among other things, related to unspecified securities held with Citigroup along with the purchase of a life-insurance policy.
The arbitrators did not explain their reasoning behind the award, but the ruling noted that punitive damages are typically awarded only in cases of “serious misconduct.”
Citigroup, for its part, issued a terse statement expressing its unhappiness with the ruling. “We are disappointed and disagree with the panel’s finding, and we are reviewing our options,” the statement said.
Mr. Hagman, 79, also played Major Anthony Nelson in the 1960s sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie,” but he is best known for his role in “Dallas,” which aired from 1978 to 1991. Earlier this year, he reprised his character in television commercials promoting solar energy.
A lawyer for Mr. Hagman did not immediately return a telephone message, and Mr. Hagman’s manager, Gene Yusem, said he did not have an immediate comment to issue on the actor’s behalf.
“He’s getting so many calls,” Mr. Yusem said.