TBS drops appeal of $281 million judgment for Texas man who sought Atlanta teams

ATLANTA – Turner Broadcasting System has dropped its appeal of a judge’s order that required the company to pay a Texas businessman US$281 million over the sale of the Atlanta Hawks and Thrashers.

David McDavid accused the company of cheating him out of buying the NBA and NHL teams and Philips Arena’s operating rights in 2003. A jury granted him the award in December 2008 and Georgia courts have twice upheld it.

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Turner spokeswoman Misty Skedgell said “in the interest of bringing this seven-year-long matter to a conclusion, we have chosen to resolve it through a settlement.”

She would not say whether the Atlanta-based company agreed to pay the full amount.

The decision does not affect the teams’ ownership. The eight-man Atlanta Spirit group bought the teams and the arena’s rights in 2003.