A state Superior Court jury in Oakland on Wednesday levied $125 million in punitive damages against ComputerLand Corp. and its founder, William Millard, for failing to honor the terms of a 9-year-old note for $250,000.
Of the total, $10 million was levied against Millard and the balance against ComputerLand, one of the nation's largest retailers of personal computers.
Earlier this week, the jury ruled that Millard owed the note holder, an investor group named Micro/Vest Corp., compensatory damages consisting of a 20% stake in ComputerLand. Attorneys for Micro/Vest say that stake may be worth $400 million, although ComputerLand, a closely held Hayward, Calif.-based company, has disputed that valuation.
ComputerLand, whose officials couldn't be reached for comment, Wednesday asked for and was granted a two-week stay of the judgment by Judge Donald P. McCullum. ComputerLand is expected to use the stay to prepare an appeal.
The jury's original verdict hinged on a clause in the note that allowed its holder to convert the debt into a 20% stake in numerous Millard enterprises.