Did You Hear About The FINRA Arbitration Claimant Seeking Over $22 Million in Damages?

November 1, 2010

In a FINRA Arbitration Statement of Claim filed in December 2008, former UBS employee Stephen P. Finkelstein asserted the following causes of action against the UBS Respondents:

  • violation of ERISA,
  • failure to pay severance,
  • failure to pay bonus,
  • breach of express/implied contract,
  • unjust enrichment, and
  • violation of New York Labor Law.

Claimant Finkelstein sought

  • $6,250,000.00 compensatory damages for failure to pay severance;
  • $112,500.00 for 39 weeks of salary;
  • $16,000,000 in damages for unpaid bonus;
  • interest, attorney's fees and costs under ERISA and New York Labor Law; and
  • liquidated damages of 25% of the amounts wrongfully withheld under the New York Labor Law.

In the Matter of the Arbitration Between Stephen P. Finkelstein, Claimant vs. UBS Global Asset Management (US), Inc. and UBS Securities LLC, Respondents (FINRA Arbitration 08-04888, October 20, 2010)

Respondents generally denied the allegations made in the Statement of Claim and asserted various affirmative defenses.

The FINRA Arbitration Panel found Respondents UBS Global Asset Management (US), Inc. and UBS Securities LLC jointly and severally liable and ordered them to pay to Claimant Finkelstein compensatory damages in the amount of $112,500.00 plus interest at the rate of 9% per annum from August 25, 2007 until payment of the Award. 

Bill Singer's Comment: Okay, hmmm, where to begin?  I posted this case because of the truly impressive amounts of damages sought.  It's not everyday that a former employee seeks over $6 million in compensatory damages for "failure to pay severance" and another $16 million in damages for an unpaid bonus.  Notwithstanding the breathtaking nature of those demands, the FINRA Panel sought fit to award what appears to have been $112,500 for 39 weeks of salary and rejected the remaining financial demands. 

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