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Lawyers Ask Court To Stay $42 Million Judgement In Fen-Phen Case

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Two attorneys are asking a state appeals court to stay an order requiring them to pay $42 million in damages to their former clients.

William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr., who own 20 percent of Preakness winner Curlin, asked the Kentucky Court of Appeals to put the brakes on the order, which requires them to pay more than 400 former clients.

Gallion, Cunningham and Melbourne Mills Jr., a former Lexington trial attorney, were sued by their former clients in 2004 over the handling of a 2001 settlement in Boone Circuit Court dealing with the diet drug fen-phen.

Special Judge William Wehr ruled in August that Gallion, Cunningham and Mills owed their clients $42 million plus 8 percent interest.

Lawyers for Gallion and Cunningham argued in a motion to the appeals court that Wehr ignored the orders of the original judge on the fen-phen case, Judge Joseph Bamberger, who approved the attorneys' fees.

Bamberger later resigned as a senior status judge rather than face disciplinary action over the handling of the fen-phen settlement.

Gallion, Cunningham and Mills face trial in January on federal charges that they illegally bilked clients out of millions of dollars stemming from a settlement involving the diet drug.

Cunningham, 52, and Gallion, 56, bought Curlin for $57,000 as a yearling through their Midnight Cry Stable. They sold controlling interest in the horse in February for a reported $3.5 million to a group composed of Jess Jackson, founder of Kendall-Jackson wines; Satish Sanan's Padua Stables; and George Bolton, an investment banker.

Curlin was third in the Kentucky Derby and second in the Belmont Stakes.
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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,
http://www.kentucky.com

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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