March 13, 2013 at 7:38 AM ET
The price may not be right in this case. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered a new trial Tuesday in the lawsuit brought by former "Price is Right" model Brandi Cochran, who was awarded nearly $8.5 million ( $775,000 in compensatory damages and $7.7 million in punitive damages ) by a jury that determined the game show's producers discriminated against her by not allowing her to return to work after her maternity leave.
Judge Kevin Brazile said that in February, two months after Team Cochran declared victory, a state Supreme Court ruling affirmed the defense's argument that Brazile should have instructed the jury to determine whether pregnancy discrimination was a "substantial motivating factor" in the producers' decision.
"I think there's evidence they could have come out the other way," Brazile said. "It clearly was an issue they were struggling with."
Defense lawyer Mark Haddad was very happy with Brazile's decision, telling reporters, "We're very pleased the judge recognized that if the jury had been properly instructed, they may well have ruled in favor of 'The Price is Right.'"
Meanwhile, Cochran's attorney, Carney Shegerian, said he's now hopeful that his client will walk away with more than $8.5 million.
A retrial hearing is scheduled for March 22.
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