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Yoel Romero sees $27 million award reduced in tainted supplement lawsuit update

Yoel Romero
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Yoel Romero’s financial windfall stemming from a lawsuit against Goldstar Performance Products took a hit on Thursday.

The former UFC middleweight contender and current Bellator light heavyweight successfully sued Goldstar four years ago, and it was eventually ruled on May 28, 2019, that the supplement company owed Romero $27.45 million in damages after it was determined that a supplement he purchased from Goldstar led to him receiving a suspension from the USADA. Romero avoided a lengthy suspension, only being sidelined for six months after the USADA tested the supplement in question and discovered that it contained the banned substance Romero tested positive for despite it not being listed on the label.

At the time, Romero and his management were satisfied with the ruling, even if it was unclear if the fighter would ever receive the full amount of the damages.

On Thursday, the Superior Court of New Jersey issued a final ruling on the case that will see Romero receive less than the $27.45 million initially awarded (according to information provided by Jason Morrin of Geragos & Geragos). Goldstar’s attempts to appeal the initial ruling were also addressed.

Back in May 2019, Goldstar did not respond to Romero’s legal team, nor did they offer any formal defense in court against claims of negligence, strict products liability, breach of implied warranties, intentional misrepresentation and a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

Goldstar previously filed a motion to have the judgment vacated based on New Jersey rule 4:50-1, which was denied because it was filed later than 12 months after the initial judgment in favor of Romero. The company claimed that its incorporated name was listed incorrectly in the suit, an error which the court deemed insignificant anyway due to the company being given sufficient notice ahead of trial. The final calculation of the damages award for Romero turned out to be lower than $27.45 million.

The damages for lost wages were ruled to be correctly calculated at $9.45 million, which was trebled from the $3.15 million due it constituting an ascertainable loss under the Consumer Fraud Act. Romero was also to receive $9 million due to emotional distress, but that originally trebled amount was reduced to $3 million, as it is not an ascertainable loss.

The evaluation of the reputational damages has been remanded to trial court and will be decided at a future date. So as of now, Romero stands to be awarded at least $12.45 million from lost wages and emotional distress.

Romero, 44, is currently signed to Bellator’s light heavyweight division. He has yet to debut for the promotion after a bout with Anthony Johnson was removed from Bellator 258 this past May when Romero did not clear pre-fight medical testing.

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