According to a Law.com news article, FMLA Verdict Could Cost Chase Manhattan $7.6 Million, Nicholas Lore, a 63-year old Chase Manhattan regional manager who was fired after making several requests for medical leave for a serious health condition under FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), may be due for a big recovery. The employer, in typical fashion, had argued that the employee had voluntarily resigned his $600,000 a year job, that Lore had not mentioned a health concern or a desire to take leave, and that they had not retaliated against Lore. A federal jury in Georgia didn’t see it that way, awarding the employee more than $2.2 million for FMLA violations. According to Lore’s attorney, Amanda A. Farahany of Barrett & Farahany, LLP, in Atlanta, Georgia, that $2.2 million judgment could ripen into a total recovery for the employee of between $6.2 million and $7.6 million once interest, penalties, front pay and attorney fees are included.
Chase had also counter-claimed against Lore for violating the Georgia Trade Secrets Act by collecting information about relationship manager compensation at Chase and four other banks, then selling that information to HomeBanc. Federal Judge Willis B. Hunt Jr. agreed with Chase in partially granting a motion for summary judgment. However, the jury saw the counterclaim as a tactic to limit Lore’s FMLA claims and refused to award any damages to Chase for the violation, nor even to cut off any of Lore’s damages.
According to Farahany, “This case was really based on the credibility of the witnesses, so the case really is down to one question: Did my client pick up the phone and say ‘I resign,’ or was he fired by his boss? It’s a credibility question.”
The case is Lore v. Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp., No. 1-04-cv-0204. Gary R. Kessler and Ann B. Hale-Smith of Irvin & Kessler and William L. Pratt of Everitt, Pratt & Latham in Atlanta, Georgia, represented Chase.
Congrats to Lore and his capable attorneys.