FORT BEND COUNTY, TX-Equity One Inc., a North Miami Beach-based REIT, has settled a Texas lawsuit with a $1.9-million check. The parties reached the agreement while awaiting the presiding judge’s ruling on a $15.9-million jury award rendered in recent weeks.

Settler’s Way and Highway Six Inc. filed the lawsuit July 27, 2001 in the 268th District Court. The defendants were United Investors Realty Trust, a Houston-based REIT acquired by Equity One; Donna Egan, a Houston broker; and Equity One as successor to UIRT as defendants.

The suit alleged Egan provided false legal advice to a tenant at the Fort Bend shopping center, positioned at the intersection of Settlers Way and Highway Six. The tenant subsequently broke the lease and moved into a UIRT shopping center.

At the time of the jury award, Equity One chairman and CEO Chaim Katzman said the award was “not supported by either the law or facts.” Equity One claimed the exemplary damages exceeded the state’s maximum. Under the settlement, Equity One and the co-defendants are released from future damage claims, either compensatory or exemplary. For previous story, click here.

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