January 8, 2016 / 12:51 AM / 2 years ago

Ex-Qwest CEO Nacchio wins $14 million verdict vs Goldman unit: lawyer

Joseph Nacchio, the former chief executive of Qwest Communications International Inc., arrives at the Denver Federal Courthouse in Denver, Colorado July 27, 2007.Rick Wilking

(Reuters) - Joseph Nacchio, the former Qwest Communications International chief executive, on Thursday won a $14.2 million jury verdict against a Goldman Sachs Group Inc unit and financial adviser over the sale of life insurance policies, his law firm said.

Nacchio and his wife accused Goldman's Ayco financial planning unit and their former adviser David Weinstein of breaching their fiduciary duties by failing to tell them that the $95 million of variable life insurance they bought in 2000 would likely lapse before they died.

After learning that the lapse would occur during their 70s, not when they turned 100 as they intended, the Nacchios canceled the policies and paid $26 million in premiums to replace them, their lawyer Bruce Nagel said.

The jury award equaled roughly the difference between what the Nacchios spent overall, and what they would have spent in 2000 had they been sold the policies they wanted, Nagel added.

"We are disappointed with the verdict and plan to appeal," Ayco spokesman Brian Cuneo said. Lawyers for Weinstein did not immediately respond to requests comment.

Nagel said the Morristown, New Jersey jury needed less than 1-1/2 hours to reach its verdict, after a month-long trial. His firm Nagel Rice is based in Roseland, New Jersey.

Nacchio, 66, spent roughly five years in prison after being convicted in 2007 of insider trading.

He was also ordered to pay more than $63 million in fines and forfeiture, court records show. Nagel said Nacchio paid this sum.

Qwest was a U.S. regional phone company based in Denver before it merged in April 2011 with CenturyLink Inc.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr

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