Jury adds more damages in Ross trial

 Josh Flory knoxnews.com
After recommending millions in compensatory damages, a federal jury on Thursday found that $15 million in punitive damages should be awarded in connection with a lawsuit against defendants related to Rarity Communities.

The suit was filed in 2009 by Robert Stooksbury, a former business partner of Rarity developer Mike Ross (pictured, above, at the Rarity Bay community, in 2010.) The two men had fallen out over Rarity Pointe, a residential community in Lenoir City, and last month a jury heard arguments in the damages portion of the case.

On Thursday, the jury said punitive damages and losses in the case should be awarded in connection with the following defendants:

Mike Ross -- $3.5 million
LTR Properties -- $1 million
RPL Properties -- $1 million
Mike Ross, DBA Rarity Realty, DBA Rarity Pointe Realty -- $1 million
Rebecca Rose Ross Jordan -- $500,000
Rarity Communities -- $500,000
Tellico Lake Properties -- $500,000
NIckajack Shores Holdings -- $500,000
Rarity Invesmtent Company -- $500,000
Rarity Corporation -- $500,000
Rarity Management Company -- $3.5 million
Rarity Property Management -- $500,000
Rarity Ridge Club -- $250,000
Rarity Club Corporation -- $500,000
Broadberry Development Company -- $250,000
Tellico Communities -- $500,000

Attorneys in the case could not immediately be reached for comment.

Stooksbury's attorney, Wayne Ritchie, said in a prepared statement that "It's clear from the length of time the jury deliberated that the testimony and evidence was carefully considered - including the testimony of Mike Ross. This verdict shows that commercial fraud will not be tolerated in East Tennessee."