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TVT Records Wins $132 Million Against Def Jam, Lyor Cohen

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A jury in New York federal court awarded TVT Records $132 million in punitive and compensatory damages against the Island Def Jam Music Group and Lyor Cohen.The award gives $108 million in punitive damages and $24 million in compensatory damages. Sources said that TVT initially sought $400 million in damages.Ja Rule signed with TVT in 1993. In 1998 he left the label for Def Jam. In spring of 2001, Ja Rule attempted to make an album for TVT with the Cash Money Clique, but according to testimony, Island Def Jam and Lyor Cohen prevented the album from being released.”I am obviously extremely pleased,” TVT President Steve Gottlieb said. “The significance of this verdict can only be fully understood if one were to read the transcripts of the court proceedings, which reveal the systematic pattern of wrongdoings by Def Jam executives. “I see this verdict as vindication for independent businessmen in every field.”Def Jam lawyer James M. Larossa agreed that TVT was entitled to the finished, unreleased album, but he cannot recoup money for costs and other expenses.“He’s not entitled to a windfall,” Larossa said. “Punitive damages don’t belong in this case.”LaRossa and other lawyers representing Def Jam and Cohen said they were “we’re disappointed with the jury’s verdict,” and vowed to appeal.“Def Jam and Lyor Cohen have been bullies for far too long,” TVT’s trial lawyer Peter Haviland said. “Unless there are some radical changes over there, I doubt this will be the last time they are punished by a jury.”

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