Quite the plot twist: Crime writer Patricia Cornwell wins $50.9m in Boston lawsuit

Boston, MA - 2/19/13 - Patricia Cornwell (cq) leaves the Moakley Federal Courthouse after being awarded $50.9 million in a lawsuit. (Globe staff photo / Bill Greene) section: metro, reporter: valencia,
A victorious Patricia Cornwell leaving the courthouse today Bill Greene/Globe Staff

Award-winning crime writer Patricia Cornwell has won $50.9 million in a lawsuit in federal court in Boston.

Cornwell, a 56-year-old native of Florida who has lived in Greater Boston for the past six years, had sued her former financial management company — Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP — and its former principal, Evan H. Snapper, for negligence in the handling of her finances, contending that Snapper and his colleagues personally benefited from their dealings with Cornwell and cost her and her company tens of millions of dollars in losses or unaccounted revenue over four years.

Jury foreman John Martus said, “I think at the end of the day we came to fair decision. And hopefully Anchin learns from this. If you are performing on someone else’s behalf, you have a responsibility towards them.”

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“I’m very disappointed,” Snapper said outside the courthouse after the verdict.

James Campbell, the lead attorney for the defendants, said, “In the days ahead, we will be exploring our legal options, including an appeal of today’s verdict. We continue to believe the firm acted professionally and appropriately. For more than 90 years, the professionals at Anchin have built a reputation for honesty and integrity. The firm will endure in spite of today’s outcome.”

The trial had begun on Jan. 7. The jury had begun deliberating on Thursday.

Cornwell is the author of the Kay Scarpetta novels.

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