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Gordie Howe wins jury verdict against former business managers

Gordie Howe sought financial damages for memorabilia destroyed by his former business managers. (Dave Reginek/NHL/Getty Images) Gordie Howe sought damages for memorabilia destroyed by his ex-business managers. (Dave Reginek/NHL/Getty Images)

An Oakland County (Mich.) jury ruled in favor of Hockey Hall of Famer Gordie Howe in a lengthy $3 million lawsuit against former business managers who destroyed sports memorabilia related to the former Detroit Red Wings great.

Howe, 85, was in attendance for the verdict. He suffers from a mild form of dementia.

SI Vault: Rare photos of Gordie Howe

Howe, son Mark Howe and Power Play International Company, originally filed a 2007 complaint against Immortal Investments over ownership of the father's sports merchandise. According to the Oakland Press, an agreement was reached calling for Howe's possessions:

. . . which included books, sticks, photos, jerseys, CDs, DVDs and personal documents, as well as videos of his late wife, Colleen, who died in 2009 at 76 of Pick’s Disease, were supposed to be returned to the family.

According to court records, a 16-foot moving truck and two passenger vans carrying Howe’s merchandise were delivered by Michael Reddy to the Howe's attorney in November 2008, including two invoices from Shred-It for roughly $400 to destroy property of Howe’s.

What was in fact destroyed was detailed in the Shred-it receipts which included 17 bankers boxes containing 402 compact discs, 1,389 tapes, 134 DVDs, and numerous documents and images. An affidavit from a Shred-It operations manager corroborated the info provided in the invoices.

The Reddys had long maintained they were in the clear to destroy the property as part of the permanent injunction.

The decision by the Reddys to get rid of the memorabilia and personal documents was not denied in an affidavit by Michael Reddy.

“It would have literally taken months to go through these hundreds of family recordings to determine if members of the Howe family were depicted in some of the recordings.”

The jury -- five women and one man -- agreed that the evidence presented supported the notion that the Howe's company sustained financial damage as part of the verdict.

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