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In plaintiffs' malicious prosecution action against defendants involving an ealier case that arose from unsuccessful efforts to merge with businesses owned by defendants, trial court's finding that defendants are liable for the malicious prosecution of a civil action and award of $700,000 in general damages for emotional distress and $2.41 million in punitive damages to plaintiffs is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) the judgment as to defendant's counsel who had represented them for part of the time the action was pending is affirmed in its entirety as the trial court did not err in concluding plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of proving counsel had acted with malice; 2) portion of the judgment awarding compensatory damages is reversed in part and remanded to determine the amount of attorney fees and costs properly recoverable as special damages by the plaintiffs as the trial court erred in precluding any recovery by the plaintiffs for attorney fees incurred in defending the underlying action; and 3) judgment of the trial court is affirmed in all other respects.
Filed November 10, 2009
Opinion by Judge Perluss
For Appellant: Law Offices of Yvonne M. Renfrew and Yvonne M. Renfrew