Las Vegas Sun

October 25, 2014

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Jury orders punitive damages in liquor distributors’ battle over Las Vegas turf

The Nevada wing of Southern Wine & Spirits of America should receive $1.078 million in punitive damages from a Southern California liquor distributor that infringed on its territory.

A Clark County jury last week found that Orange County, Calif., resident Guy Azera, owner of Transat Trade and Chateau Vegas, knowingly stepped on Southern Wine’s toes when he started selling upscale wines and champagnes in Nevada and ordered Azera to pay $267,750 in actual damages.

On Thursday, jurors decided Azera also was liable for punitive damages for the misdeeds. They ordered Transat Trade to pay $462,882 and Chateau Vegas to pay $615,202 to Southern Wine. Additionally, Chateau Vegas must pay $136,136 in punitive damages to Maisons Marques & Domaines, a Cristal distributor that also was a plaintiff in the suit. Maisons Marques will receive a $69,000 cut of the actual damages.

Las Vegan Larry Ruvo, best known as founder of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, is the senior managing director for Nevada’s arm of Southern Wine.

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