The Pennsylvania Supreme Court this morning refused to hear an appeal of a 2009 civil fraud verdict against Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Willis W. Berry Jr.
The one-sentence denial of review by the state's high court brings to an end the fight about the propriety of the verdict by a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury, which found that Berry defrauded a woman named Denise Jackson in the sale of a North Philadelphia lot.
The jury awarded Jackson damages totaling almost $200,000 against Berry and his real estate development company, Reddberry Development Corp.
"I'm really disappointed about this," said Berry's attorney, Samuel C. Stretton. "I thought we had some really good issues there."
The legal battles, however, are not over. Pending is a hearing before the trial judge over his decision to reduce punitive damages awarded by the jury from $180,000 to $20,000.
Jackson's attorney, Barry S. Yaches, said he expected the Supreme Court's ruling on the verdict in the case but is girding for the hearing on punitive damages before Judge Charles B. Smith.
The hearing before Smith, a retired federal magistrate judge and former Chester County Court judge, was ordered by the state's Superior Court in a parallel appeal after Smith reduced the punitive damages.