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David Kihara

Sands challenges award in gaming license trial

16 July 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Las Vegas Sands Corp. isn't going down without a fight.

Las Vegas Sands' attorneys are challenging the $43.8 million award a jury granted in May to Richard Suen, a Hong Kong businessman who said he helped the casino company win a lucrative gaming license in Macau.

Suen sued the company in 2004, claiming that Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson and Las Vegas Sands President Bill Weidner promised him at least $5 million and 2 percent of the gaming operations' net profits in exchange for his help in securing the gaming license.

In court documents filed Tuesday, the company's attorneys asked for a new trial or that the judgment be reduced, among other things.

The attorneys claim that the evidence in the case shows that the award shouldn't be for more than $24 million.

They also said in court documents that the judge in the case allowed hearsay statements during the trial and improperly instructed the jury.

"The judgment in this case rests on winks and nods rather than competent evidence," according to the Sands attorneys in their request for a new trial.

Suen's attorneys sought $100 million in damages.

The verdict followed a six-week civil trial before District Judge Michelle Leavitt. The jury of five women and three men deliberated for about nine hours the first day and a little more than an hour the second day before reaching their decision.