FMR Wins Big Verdict in Lexington

Last week our own Jon Allison, along with co-counsel Robert Abell of Lexington, won a significant verdict for our client Mr. Sergio Melgar against the University of Kentucky. After a three-day trial, the jury awarded $1,750,000. Mr. Melgar had been the CFO of UK Healthcare from 2004 until he was terminated in 2012. He had been recruited away from UCLA where he served in a similar position to be part of a leadership team that would help UK Healthcare reach its potential. Mr. Melgar and UK Healthcare were dramatically successful following his arrival. Mr. Melgar noticed, however, that he was not being compensated consistent with what he and the rest of the leadership team had been told while the other members of the leadership team were doing much better. He raised concerns of discrimination related to his pay in early 2012 only to be stripped of a number of his duties. Later in the year he made another complaint and was summoned to the President of the University’s office and terminated. UK then refused to pay severance promised to Mr. Melgar during his recruitment. Instead, a number of false allegations were suddenly made against Mr. Melgar that he had engaged in misconduct directly related to his job duties. The jury found that UK had retaliated against Mr. Melgar by terminating his employment and refusing to pay him severance that was owed and earned amounting to 1.5 million dollars. The jury also awarded $250,000 in emotional distress damages as a result of the way in which Mr. Melgar was exited, including the various false allegations made.