Montana jury awards $52M in lawsuit against bank

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Associated Press

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 12:32 PM

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — A Montana jury has awarded an office supply manufacturer $52 million in its lawsuit against its former bank.

Masters Group International Inc. sued Comerica Inc. after the bank reneged on a November 2008 agreement to delay collection of a $10.5 million line of credit while Masters negotiated another credit line that required it not be in default with Comerica.

Masters' attorney Timothy Strauch told the Missoulian (http://bit.ly/1jzlsEJ ) that Comerica took all $9 million from Masters accounts in December 2008, effectively leading to the death of the company, which had planned to open a distribution center in Butte.

The lawsuit began when the Butte Local Development Corp. sought to recoup a $200,000 loan it made to Masters Group in 2006. Master's brought Comerica in as a third-party defendant.

Dallas-based Comerica says it may appeal Friday's verdict.

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Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com

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