Judge insists, again, Sands China hand over documents to former CEO, pay $250,000 to groups

MarketsAssociated Press

A Las Vegas Sands subsidiary has been ordered, again, to hand over documents without redactions in an ongoing wrongful termination lawsuit against the company.

After an evidentiary hearing that began in February, Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez said Sands China Ltd. has undermined the search for truth by refusing to hand over documents to former CEO Steven Jacobs. Jacobs' lawsuit alleges a host of misdeeds were committed by the company, parent company Las Vegas Sands Corp., and the parent company's chairman and CEO, Sheldon Adelson.

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Las Vegas Sands, which owns The Venetian and The Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip, owns a 70 percent stake in Sands China, which has four casino resorts in Macau including The Venetian and Sands.

A company spokesman said lawyers would appeal the decision to a higher court.

"We are disappointed in the court's decision and do not believe it is supported by the evidence," said Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese in an emailed statement. "Sands China intends to seek review from a higher court."

Jacobs was fired in July 2010 and filed his lawsuit three months later. Since then, the case has been delayed with disputes over documents sought by his lawyers, and multiple appeals.

The company's lawyers have cited the Macau Data Privacy Act as the reason for not producing documents or for redacting names and email addresses, which Jacobs' lawyers have argued make it impossible to glean information from them.

Gonzalez made her ruling Friday. It also ordered Sands China to pay five different legal organizations a total of $250,000 and to cover Jacobs' legal costs on the matter. She said redactions could only be made in the case of privilege, which allows for some nonrelevant information or trade secrets, for example, to be blacked out.

Gonzalez first issued sanctions against the company in September 2012. Then in March 2013, she again affirmed her order that the Macau Data Privacy Act could not be used as justification for the redactions and ordered an evidentiary hearing. An appeal by Sands to the Nevada Supreme Court was denied in August, but lawyers for Jacobs have said the documents have continued to be withheld or redacted against the court's wishes.

The case still faces a hearing scheduled for April on whether or not the court has jurisdiction on the matter since Sands China isn't based in the United States.