Jurors found that America Online Inc. — now AOL Time Warner Inc. — maliciously defamed Ronald Arnold, a former vice president of its Netscape division, by accusing him of falsifying his administrative assistant’s time cards and eventually firing him for it. Jurors awarded $1.5 million in compensatory damages for lost wages and stock options Tuesday.

Arnold’s attorney Therese Lawless suggested several figures to the jury, ranging from $41 million, or one-tenth of 1 percent of America Online’s stated worth, to $15 million — 10 times the compensatory damages.

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