A federal jury in Los Angeles has held a French company liable for defrauding California regulators in connection with a deal involving the failed Executive Life Insurance Company.[@@]
The company, Artemis S.A., Vincennes, France, is owned by French billionaire Francois Pinault, who was personally cleared of any involvement by the jury.
The jury, however, found in favor of Artemis on 2 of 3 allegations that the company had caused harm to Executive Life policyholders.
The state is seeking $1 billion in damages, but the phase of the trial just concluded focused on an assessment of the allegations and did not look at damages.
U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz is encouraging the parties involved in the case to reach a financial settlement rather than take the trial to a penalty phase.