Former legislator ordered to pay $4.3 million in defamation case
The Associated Press and The Oklahoman - February 24, 2017 9:50 am
TULSA, Okla. (AP) – An Oklahoma jury has ordered a former state legislator to pay $4.3 million to an insurance company in a defamation case.
The defamation charge arose because Wayne Pettigrew, who was a director at First Trinity Financial Corp. until he left the company in 2013, issued a news release after his departure calling for an investigation into the company and its CEO related to stock purchases.
The Oklahoman reports that a jury found Pettigrew breached his fiduciary duties to First Trinity and defamed the company and CEO Gregg Zahn.
First Trinity was awarded $800,000, and Zahn was awarded $3.5 million. The jury says Pettigrew intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon Zahn.
Pettigrew says his attorneys are preparing an appeal.