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Court upholds $3m verdict against LBDI ex-president

The Civil Law Court in Monrovia has upheld a jury verdict that finds former Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) president Deo Delaney liable for US$3,000,000 for general damages and punitive damages.

Mr. Francis Dennis filed a complaint before the court accusing Delaney of allegedly tarnishing his reputation that he is a delinquent borrower.

Mr. Dennis lamented that Delaney dehumanized, embarrassed, and caused mockery to him and exposed him to undue inconveniences and emotional and mental anguish through a radio appearance on LBS and other stations.

Dennis complained that Delaney, while in an official capacity as LBDI president, allegedly breached his fiduciary duty of the bank customer relationship in a loan agreement published in the press.

In December 2022, Mr. Delaney quit his job as LBDI president after the LBDI Board of Directors discovered that the accused had lied about his academic credentials.

While applying for the LBDI president position, Delaney was said to have inflated his curriculum vitae. 

During the final ruling of the civil case, defendant Delaney was absent, but the court appointed Cllr. Jerome B. Kolleh to take the ruling and exercising the rights of the defendant under the law.

In his complaint, Mr. Dennis narrated to the court that he had a loan facility with LBDI which had not matured and was under no condition for him to be exposed as a delinquent borrower.

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He lamented that the allegation carried out by Mr. Delaney was untrue and it was only intended to undermine and destroy his hard-earned reputation.

He believed that Delaney’s sole objectives were achieved. 

In his ruling, Judge Kennedy Peabody said a Writ of Summons was issued against Mr. Delaney, but he could not be found.

The judge noted that the arguments were heard and the Jury was instructed accordingly after which the Jury returned with a unanimous verdict against Mr. Delaney, stating that he was liable in the amount of US$2,500,000.00 for general damages and further awarded the complainant US$500,000.00 for punitive damages.

Judge Peabody indicated that the verdict is supported by the evidence and that the Court affirms and confirms the verdict against the defendant.

“Wherefore and in view of the foregoing, this Court finds the Defendant liable to the Plaintiff in the amount of US$2,500,000.00 for general damages and US$500,000.00 for Punitive Damages and ruled against the Defendant with costs,” said Judge Peabody. 

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