In a recent jury trial in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts, IADC member Chris Kenney and his partner, Tony DeProspo, of Kenney & Sams, P.C. successfully defended their client, a national sales executive, against a recoupment proceeding, and succeeded in obtaining a $2.8 million judgment for the client against his former employer.
The client worked for a major solar energy company. Over the course of several years, he achieved numerous sales that resulted in more than $37 million in revenue to his employer. He was paid on a commission basis, with a monthly draw advanced toward the commissions. However, every time he requested to have his commissions paid up, the employer first congratulated him on his outstanding work, and asked him to be patient while they waited for their financial condition to improve so they could pay him. This charade continued for several years until the employee firmly insisted upon full payment. At that point, the employer engaged in strategic revisionist history by denying that the employee actually sold the solar systems himself, and claiming that he had submitted fraudulent expense reimbursements that they intended to recoup from him.
When he protested, they fired him.
Attorneys Kenney and DeProspo vigorously defended him against the expense recoupment, and prosecuted claims for his earned commissions which constitute unpaid wages under the Massachusetts Wage Act. They defeated the employer’s statute of limitations defense by successfully arguing that the employer’s deceptive conduct in falsely promising payment warranted an equitable tolling of the statute of limitations.
After a six day jury trial, the employer dropped its recoupment claims and the jury found in favor of our client on his Wage Act claims. The jury awarded damages of approximately $1 million, which the court tripled pursuant to the Wage Act. The court also ordered the defendants to pay our client’s attorneys’ fees and costs on top of the damages awarded.