Judge orders Scrushy to pay $2.8B to shareholders

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Former HealthSouth chief executive Richard Scrushy was ordered Thursday to pay $2.8 billion in damages related to the massive account scandal at the company.

The verdict in the civil lawsuit was announced shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday. The judge in the case ruled Scrushy was liable for $2.8 billion in damages.

The judge also rescinded all employment contracts between Scrushy and HealthSouth, meaning Scrushy will not be receiving a sizable retirment package.

Attorneys for the shareholders suing Scrushy wanted $3.6 billion, but told FOX6 News they were happy with the verdict.

Shareholders filed suit on behalf of HealthSouth seeking damages from Scrushy, whom they claimed directed a massive accounting scam.

Scrushy, who is serving time in federal prison on an unrelated criminal conviction, testified during the trial, denying any wrongdoing. He agreed that he made lots of money on deals sometimes, but he added: "That's the way it works in America."

Scrushy was acquitted of criminal charges in the HealthSouth fraud in 2005, but is serving a seven-year prison term in a state bribery scheme case involving former Governor Don Siegelman. Scrushy was sent back to a federal prison in Texas after his testimony in the civil trial ended last month.

Richard Scrushy's wife, Leslie, was unavailable for comments on the verdict.