As the Sixth Circuit Appellate Blog previously reported, last month a panel of the Sixth Circuit affirmed a $101 million jury award based on a finding of tortious interference with a prospective advantage under Kentucky law. Defendant-appellant HCP, Inc. sought rehearing and rehearing en banc, arguing that the panel had incorrectly applied the law as to preclusion and Kentucky law on sufficiency of the evidence, and also as to the decision to remand for a determination on punitive damages.
On June 27, 2011, the panel denied HCP’s request for rehearing, and, without dissent, the full Court declined en banc review. In a press release (PDF) issued the same day, Ventas applauded the Court’s decision. According to a report by Business Week, perhaps in reaction to this most recent ruling by the Court, shares of Ventas climbed 13 cents to $52.88, while HCP stock fell 5 cents to $36.50. Based on the panel’s original order, the matter will now be remanded to the district court for a trial solely to determine whether Ventas should also be awarded punitive damages. Whether HCP will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court remains to be seen.