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Mark Wilf vows appeal, says $84.5 million verdict won't halt stadium

Posted by: Jim Ragsdale under Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Democrats, Republicans Updated: September 25, 2013 - 4:08 PM

By Mark Craig

Vikings president Mark Wilf said his family will appeal a New Jersey judge’s order to pay $84.5 million in damages to the former partners they were found to have defrauded in a long-ago business venture.

“Certainly we disagree with the judge’s ruling and it’s something we plan to appeal,” Wilf said Wednesday in London, where the Vikings are preparing for a Sunday game against the Steelers at Wembley Stadium.

“That’s really the only public comment I can make on it given it’s an ongoing legal matter. But I think the important thing for everyone here is it doesn’t affect, one iota, our commitment and our ability to conclude negotiations and moving on to getting the stadium done and opened in the fall of 2016.”

On Monday, Superior Court Judge Deanne Wilson ordered Wilf and his brother, Zygi, and their cousin, Leonard Wilf, to pay $84.5 million in damages to former business partners who sued them for fraud over a 1980s real estate deal.

Zygi Wilf is owner/chairman of the team, Mark Wilf is owner/president and Leonard Wilf is owner/vice chairman.

The ruling covers compensatory and punitive damages to plaintiffs Josef Halpern and Ada Reichmann. The damages awarded Monday did not include requests for more than $16 million in plaintiff’s attorney and accounting fees, which could push the damages awarded to more than $100 million.

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