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Wilfs ordered to pay $15M in lawyer fees, too

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Legal bills can add up fast, especially in an epic case that spans years, Zygi, Mark and Leonard Wilf have learned.

A judge in a long-simmering real estate case in August had ruled that the Vikings executives defrauded former partners in a New Jersey real estate deal and owed $84.5 million in damages.

Now an arbitrator has delivered another stinging blow to the Wilfs, siding with the plaintiffs in the 21-year-old case who argue that the Wilfs should also pay $15 million in lawyer fees, the Pioneer Press reports.

"Plaintiffs prevailed on virtually every issue at trial, obtained an overwhelmingly favorable result, and should be awarded the vast majority of the attorneys' fees and costs that they seek," the arbitrator noted in a 132-page report obtained by the Pioneer Press.

A judge is expected to hear arguments related to the report next month, the newspaper reports. Legal experts expect the judge will accept the arbitrator's ruling, KSTP reported.

NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk notes that parties in civil litigation are typically expected to pay their own legal fees, but certain laws allow the winning party to recover some costs.

The Wilfs are appealing the $84.5 million judgment, and they likely would appeal the $15 million finding, too, KSTP says.

Opposing lawyers have said that Zygi Wilf’s net worth is estimated at between $310 million and $1.3 billion.

The Wilfs are on the hook to pay $477 million of the cost to construct the new $975 million Vikings stadium, and they have said the lawsuit will not affect their ability to pay their share.

The Wilfs again made headlines recently when they claimed that "anti-wealth bias" was behind an effort to force the family to reveal their net worth as part of the case.

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