A Minneapolis jury cut Wells Fargo a break yesterday in a lawsuit four nonprofits had brought against the bank. The bank will be forced to pay out $29.9 million in compensatory damages for breaching its fiduciary duty to the nonprofits that lost money in a Wells investment program, but will not have to pay punitive damages. The nonprofits had wanted at least $100 million in punitive damages and claimed that Wells Fargo had made it difficult for them to withdraw their money in 2007 and 2008.
"This decision was not about Wall Street fat cats against nonprofits," said juror Danielle Penneau. "Any investment has risk. We wanted to deal with the facts."