The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, upheld a September 2018 jury award of $2.75 million in actual and punitive damages Tuesday in Marcia Green’s civil suit against Mehrdad Fotoohighiam.
“It’s good progress in the right direction,” Green said Tuesday.
Green filed suit against Fotoohighiam in July 2015 alleging that he paid $500 to a former employee, James Hall, to set her home on Rock Quarry Road on fire, according to previous Missourian reporting.
She was burned escaping her mobile home in December 2014.
Fotoohighiam was arrested in June 2015 and charged with first-degree arson after an eight-hour standoff with the Columbia Police Department and its SWAT team.
In October 2017, Judge Robert Koffman issued a partial decision holding Fotoohighiam liable for the crime, according to previous Missourian reporting. Fotoohighiam, however, asked that damages be decided by a jury. A jury in September 2018 assessed damages at $2.75 million.
Fotoohighiam appealed, but the appellate court in its opinion Tuesday ruled that “there is no genuine issue of material fact” in the case.
In August, a Boone County jury acquitted Fotoohighiam of first-degree arson in a criminal case.
James Hall, whom Fotoohighiam had allegedly hired to burn down Green’s trailer, also was acquitted of arson in July 2018 during his second trial on the charge. A jury during his first trial in February 2018 could not reach a verdict.
Supervising editors are Katherine Reed and Hannah Hoffmeister.