Console Mattiacci Wins Jury Verdict of Over $1.65 Million Plus Attorney’s Fees

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES


ALLENTOWN, Pa., Oct. 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After a four day trial at the Lehigh County Courthouse in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the jury deliberated for 70 minutes before rendering a verdict in favor of Plaintiff Charles Nifong and against Defendants CST Brands on all claims. The jury found that the company breached its contract with Mr. Nifong and that the company’s failure to pay Mr. Nifong under the contract was not in good faith. Plaintiff’s trial counsel were Lane J. Schiff and Emily R. Derstine Friesen of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC. Defendants’ trial counsel were David Fryman and Amy Bashore of Ballard Spahr, LLP.

The case involved a contract of which Mr. Nifong was a beneficiary and which provided Mr. Nifong certain benefits if his important job duties were reduced after a change in control at the company. Mr. Nifong complied with the contract’s requirements when a change in control occurred and his important job duties were reduced; however, the company failed to comply with its contractual obligations and refused to pay Mr. Nifong the benefits to which he was entitled under the contract. Defense counsel argued that Mr. Nifong was not timely in exercising his rights under the contract, and that the alternative positions offered to Mr. Nifong relieved the company of its obligation to pay him.

The jury’s verdict vindicated Mr. Nifong after more than two and a half years of hard fought litigation. In 2015, after the case was filed in state court, Defendants removed the case to federal court, arguing that ERISA preempted Plaintiff’s state law and common law claims.  Plaintiff then successfully remanded the case to state court per order of Judge Schmehl of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which held that the contract was not governed by ERISA.

Mr. Nifong’s award exceeds $1.65 million, which includes full payment under the contract, an additional 25% of the contract amount in liquidated damages, and prejudgment interest.  In addition, Plaintiff is entitled to attorney’s fees and costs (exceeding $400,000) under the Wage Payment and Collection Law.

Stephen G. Console, a founding partner of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC, commented about the verdict: “Mr. Nifong’s determination to stand up for his rights, battle a large company for years, and win a complete victory at trial should be cheered by employees everywhere. Too often employers attempt to squeeze their employees out of money owed, using their enormous economic advantage as a lever. This verdict hopefully will deter some companies from doing that in the future.”

Console Mattiacci Law, LLC is an employment rights law firm with offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Moorestown, New Jersey. Since its inception in 1990, the firm has focused its practice on the representation of current, former and potential employees concerning work-related matters. The lawyers at Console Mattiacci Law, LLC counsel whistleblower-employees who have been retaliated against and individuals who have been victimized by illegal employment discrimination and retaliation, including sex, race, religion, disability and age discrimination and sexual harassment at work. They also represent employees concerning medical leaves, disability benefits, wage and hour claims, employment contracts, severance agreements, stock option plans, and class action lawsuits. For more information visit: www.consolelaw.com or call Console Mattiacci Law, LLC at 215-545-7676.


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