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Defense Arbitration Award Obtained in $9M Wrongful Termination Claim

The former president/COO of a luxury automobile dealership in Beverly Hills, California challenged his termination in an arbitration proceeding. He claimed he was fraudulently induced to move from Florida to accept the position with the dealership, and that he was terminated without "justifiable cause," which pursuant to his employment agreement, would have entitled him to salary and five percent of the dealership's net profits for the more than two years remaining on his three year contract. In total, the former executive was seeking more than $9 million in damages, penalties, attorneys' fees, and costs.

We obtained a defense award on all but one of the plaintiff’s claims. We showed the arbitrator that the plaintiff was terminated for justifiable cause, citing numerous examples of his actions or failures to act which were the basis for the termination of his employment. The Arbitrator did award the plaintiff $33,000 and pre-judgment interest because he was terminated without the 60 days’ notice required by his contract. Nevertheless, the dealership was deemed the prevailing party under the contract and was awarded $100,000.00 in attorneys' fees and costs.

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