Germany's biggest bank, Deutsche Bank, suffered
what was expected to be a costly defeat Friday, when a court ordered
the Frankfurt-lender to pay compensation to the heirs of the Kirch
estate as part of a long-running legal battle over the fall of the
Kirch media group.
While the court in Munich left open the amount of compensation, it had previously estimated the cost of damages at between 120 million euros (157 million dollars) and 1.5 billion euros, should the case go against Deutsche.
Kirch's heirs had been seeking damages of as much as 2 billion euros, following remarks made in a 2002 interview by a former Deutsche Bank chief, Rolf Breuer, who raised doubts about the creditworthiness of the late German media mogul, Leo Kirch.
Kirch died in July 2011 at the age of 84. He had claimed that Breuer's comments had helped pave the way for the collapse of his powerful media empire, which once had vast interests in television and film.
The Munich-based group declared itself insolvent in June 2002 with debts totalling 6.5 billion euros.
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