You may recall that I recently posted about whether your employer can say bad things about you. I also said that these cases are not always the greatest unless you line all your cards up and make sure that you can prove your employer or former employer is saying bad things.
Well, a recent article by Lawyers USA shows what success an employee can have where they have lined all their ducks up. According to this article the number one jury verdict of 2009 was out in California and was against George Marciano, of Guess Jeans.
In this case, a Los Angeles jury awarded five former employees of Guess, a total of $370 million ($74 million) to each employee, due to Marciano’s defamation of these employees after their termination.
According to the employees, Marciano used his wealth and connections to cause investigations, tax audits, and accusations against them, all of which ended up in the newspaper or on Internet sites. Marciano then sued the former employees claiming, among other things, that they had stolen from him money, art, wine, and coin collections. His lawsuit was dismissed.
The former employees’ lawsuit against him was not dismissed. Indeed, Marciano was found to have engaged in “malicious and oppressive” conduct, defaming the former employees and causing them emotional distress. The employees were awarded compensatory and punitive damages.
So the moral of the story is the little guy/gal can win in these defamation claims against their former employer. You just need to make sure you document and obtain as many witnesses as possible to give yourself the greatest possible chance of success.