The Inbox - June 22, 2012
This week in suits by suits:
- BankUnited Inc. CEO John Kanas and vice-chairman John Bohlsen will pay a combined $20 million to their former employer, Capital One Financial Corp, to settle claims that Kanas and Bohlson breached their noncompete agreements with Capital One when they led BankUnited to acquire New York-based Herald National Bank.
- In an unpublished opinion, Bennett v. R&L Carriers Shared Services, LLC, the Fourth Circuit upheld a $1.7 million jury verdict to a night dock supervisor alleging malicious prosecution after he had been accused of stealing computers from a loading dock of a Colonial Heights shipping company. Despite characterizing the verdict as "bizarrely excessive," Judge Andre M. Davis, writing for the Court's 2-1 majority, held that the award was justified by Virginia precedent and the plaintiff's circumstances. In dissent, Judge G. Steven Agee noted that Bennett was awarded nearly seven times the combined amount of every prior malicious prosecution verdict in the past century.
- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered Norfolk Southern Railway Co. to rehire three whistleblowers who had been fired for reporting workplace injuries, and to pay the plaintiffs $802,168.70 in damages, including $525,000 in punitive damages and attorneys' fees.
- Chicago private equity veteran Daniel Foreman is suing his former employer, Cardinal Growth Corp., alleging that top managers at Cardinal Growth Corp. misrepresented investment fund value and assets in order to convince him to join the firm, and then failed to pay him his full compensation.
- Hampton Roads Bankshares has filed a federal suit seeking a declaration that it is prohibited from paying former executive Scott C. Harvard a "golden parachute" severance package worth nearly $700,000 under the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
- A New York state trial court has dismissed a lawsuit by a pension fund against clothing giant Ralph Lauren seeking damages and disgorgement of allegedly excessive executive compensation and benefits, deferring to the corporate judgment of Ralph Lauren's board of directors in approving the compensation.
- Finally, in a related item of interest: the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has adopted rules directing U.S. stock exchanges to adopt listing standards for compensation committees and compensation advisers. Under the new rules, the stock exchanges have 90 days to propose listing standards and one year to finalize those standards.