McGregor to pay millions in damages - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

McGregor to pay millions in damages

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Victoryland owner Milton McGregor is ordered to pay $64-million dollars by a federal court.

Developers for a casino called Lucky Palace claim McGregor, and Macon County Sheriff David Warren conspired to keep them from opening a gaming facility across from Victoryland.

A jury ruled in favor of the developer and several charities which also would have benefited from the casino.

Now McGregor has to pay.

"All I ever prayed for was justice," says Paul Bracy, Jr., the President of Lucky Palace, LLC.

He believes justice was served. After years of claiming Milton McGregor and Sheriff David Warren were behind efforts to keep his casino from opening, "I'm excited and shocked...yes," says Bracy.

Bracy and 15 Macon County charities working with the casino developer say McGregor and Warren crafted multiple amendments to bingo legislation to make it harder for Lucky Palace to obtain bingo licenses--all the while catering to Victoryland.

McGregor's attorney Mark White says that's not true.

"To conspire, you have to meet with somebody and agree to something. There's been no evidence that Mr. McGregor ever met with any of the charities or ever met with Lucky Palace."

Based on weeks of evidence and testimony, the jury saw differently.

They awarded damages to the plaintiffs to the tune of $64.1 million dollars.

It's the amount plaintiffs claim they would have made in profits and lost when they weren't allowed to open the facility.

Here's the break down of the money.

--More than $42-million dollars to plaintiffs in compensatory damages.

--$20-million dollars in punitive damages--split between the plaintiffs.

--$126,000 dollars to each of the 15 charities that sued McGregor and Victoryland.

"We would appeal. We don't have any doubt about that," says White.

While McGregor's attorneys prepare for the next step, one charity director already has plans for the money.

"First I'm gonna buy an RV and turn it into a medical clinic," says Mr. McRae with the McRae Prostate Cancer Awareness Foundation.

McGregor and Victoryland were the only defendants sued for monetary damages.

The plaintiffs sued Sheriff Warren under an equal protection claim--saying he didn't treat the Lucky Palace charities the same as Victoryland's.

The jury ruled Warren violated that claim, but doesn't think he did it intentionally.

Warren's attorney says the judge could overrule the jury's decision on Sheriff Warren soon.  

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