A lawyer who referred a lucrative fen-phen diet drug case to a leading plaintiffs firm cannot recover punitive or consequential damages for late payment of her referral fee, a New Jersey appeals court says.

Tuesday’s ruling, in Roper v. Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, A-5785-05, means Angela Roper will receive nothing beyond the $188,913 paid her by Teaneck, N.J.’s Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, which included interest for a one-year delay.