Across the southeast

Woman gets $8 million from father for abuse

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. --- A judge ordered a prominent businessman to pay $8 million to his daughter, who claimed he subjected her to 30 years of sexual abuse that began when she was a preschooler and included a rape the night she was crowned her high school's homecoming queen.

Circuit Judge Helen Shores Lee ruled against Fred M. Blackmon of Montgomery, a vice president with Merrill Lynch & Co., in a civil lawsuit filed by Louise Plott, 35, who also claimed to be the victim of emotional torture and physical assaults that began when she was 5 and continued through recent years.

She had asked for a judgment of $32 million.

An attorney for Mr. Blackmon said Thursday that his client was considering options for challenging the verdict, including an appeal.