The $6.1 million verdict that jurors in San Diego awarded to Drew Brees this summer in his lawsuit against a jeweler has ballooned to nearly $9 million.
Interest of more than $2.6 million as well as $166,231 in what are described as “prejudgment costs” account for the new, higher award amount of $8.9 million, according to an Oct. 14 entry in the court record of the case pitting the New Orleans Saints quarterback against jeweler Vahid Moradi.
Moradi is appealing the verdict in favor of Brees and his wife, Brittany, hoping to either reduce the award or have it wiped out altogether. That appeal is still pending.
The Breeses sued Moradi in 2018, alleging that he exploited his longtime friendship with the NFL star to sell him diamonds that were grossly overpriced.
Brees testified that Moradi had sold him $15 million worth of diamonds — including an $8 million ring — after telling the athlete that the items would quickly appreciate in value while weathering downturns in the national economy.
However, an appraiser told the Breeses in 2017 that they had paid $7 million more than the collection was worth. He said the $8 million ring was worth roughly half of that.
The Breeses accused Moradi of defrauding them, violating California business laws and breaching his contract with them.
Moradi countered that Drew and Brittany Brees had actually been scammed by the appraiser, Aldo Dinelli. He claimed Dinelli told the Breeses to offload their diamonds at a low cost to a dealer with whom Dinelli was in business, allowing Dinelli’s associate to get a great deal at the couple’s expense.
Moradi also said the diamonds he sold to the Breeses had been marked up in price within normal industry standards.
The jury sided with Brees on June 21, awarding him $6,130,767. The judge, Kenneth Medel, later amended that amount to include interest and unspecified costs ahead of the judgment.
Brees’ NFL career started in 2001 with the Chargers when they played in San Diego, and he continued living there part-time after joining the Saints in 2006.
News Source: The New Orleans Advocate