A federal jury in Miami slapped TVT Records with a $9.1 million verdict this week (March 14) for interfering with Slip-N-Slide's (SNS) release of "Pitbull Welcome to the 305."

TVT released the debut album of Pitbull, "M.I.A.M.I.," in 2004, spending millions of dollars in marketing and promotion, the company claimed. SNS had old master recordings of Pitbull from 2001, which it wanted to release after TVT's release.

SNS lawyer, Richard Wolfe with Wolfe & Goldstein in Miami, tells Billboard.biz that Pitbull first signed with SNS. The label later released the artist, but kept rights in the album.

TVT claimed that SNS changed 10 of the old recordings by adding new lyrics and music without Pitbull's approval, offering an album with no more than four of the 16 tracks that could be considered to be a Pitbull song. TVT also claimed that SNS used a Pitbull stylized logo prepared by TVT without permission to bank off of TVT's efforts.

TVT sent a letter to SNS distributor ADA in March 2005, claiming rights in the trademark. Ultimately ADA decided not to release the SNS album.

SNS sued TVT for tortious interference with its contract with ADA. TVT countersued for trademark infringements.

According to the verdict form, the jury decided: TVT knew about SNS' contract with ADA and "intentionally and unjustifiably" interfered with that contract; TVT did so partly with malice and partly through "improper methods"; and TVT interfered with SNS' business relationship with ADA and ADA's retailers.

The jury awarded SNS $2,279,200 to compensate the label for its losses plus $6,837,600 in punitive damages to punish TVT for engaging in intentional misconduct or gross negligence.

The jury rejected TVT's counterclaims for trademark infringement of the stylized Pitbull logo or for engaging in false advertising.

"TVT believes that the verdict is contrary to, and unsupported by, the evidence in the case, as well as being excessive," a TVT spokeswoman says in a statement. "Accordingly, TVT will be pursuing all available remedies before the district court and on appeal."