Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Award in 'soap-opera' case largest in 2000.

Byline: Business and Law MARTIN PASKIND For the Journal

Following are the 10 biggest court judgments handed down during 2000. Last year's largest award was the result of a family feud worthy of the soapiest of soap operas:

Juries socked Iran, as sovereign sponsor of political terrorism, with two of the year's top 10 verdicts. Tragically, two more awards resulted from sexual abuse of children, one incident involving homicide. The cases and their details:

*Ana Nicole Smith, a six-foot platinum blonde, is a former Playboy centerfold and widow of Texas oil tycoon Howard Marshall II. E. Pierce Marshall, one of the tycoon's children, said Smith was a gold-digger, shouldn't get a dime of the enormous estate, and he cut her off. Smith wound up in a Los Angeles bankruptcy court.

In a case tried without a jury, the bankruptcy judge awarded Smith almost $475 million, including $25 million in punitive damages. …

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