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DALLAS-Younan Hospitality Group LP, embroiled in a two-year lawsuit, has been awarded $850,500 in damages and attorneys’ fees by a Dallas County jury in the 160th judicial district. The appeal period expires Sept. 15.

Falcon Physician Reviews Inc. of Dallas alleged its students’ credit cards were fraudulently used while they were staying at the 378-room Holiday Inn Select at 2645 LBJ Freeway, which Younan had under contract to sell when the July 19, 2006 lawsuit was filed. The hotel did sell in late September 2006, with Younan continuing to wage a battle over his first lawsuit by counter-suing one month after the group broke a one-year contract to house students at the North Dallas hotel while they took USMLE prep courses.

“This wasn’t about money. This was about our honor, our name and our reputation,” Zaya Younan, chairman and CEO of Los Angeles-based Younan Properties Inc., tells GlobeSt.com. “This was our first lawsuit ever. We want to let the market know we are very serious in defending our name and will continue to do so.”

Falcon Physician Reviews’ attorney David Curtis, partner in Shackelford, Melton & McKinley of Dallas, declined to comment on the decision. He also had no comment as to whether an appeal would be filed.

Younan, one of Dallas’ largest class A office owners, was represented by Chris Hanslik of Boyar & Miller in Houston. “He articulated and provided compelling evidence of Younan’s complete innocence in this matter. The result was an overwhelming success for Younan and a win for any business that must deal with frivolous lawsuits,” says Adam Knowlton, Younan’s senior vice president and chief counsel.

Younan says the lion’s share of the full award will be donated to families of US soldiers who have died in combat. The funds will roll to a trust that Younan established to provide emergency assistance to families dealing with soldiers’ deaths. In the past year, Younan says he’s contributed more than $500,000 to the fund.

Dallas County District Judge Jim Jordan awarded $299,760.75 in liquidated damages for cancellation fees and $529,995.94 for attorneys’ fees and costs. According to the order, Younan also may be entitled to an additional $15,000 if there is a motion for a new trial or reconsideration; $75,000 if it’s appealed to the Texas Court of Appeals; $25,000 if an appeal is filed and a response is ordered; $50,000 in the event the Texas Court of Appeals grants the petition for review; $20,776.36 of prejudgment interest at a rate of $41.06 per day until the final judgment is executed; and 5% annual interest until the award is paid in full.

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