PWRFL wins $607,779.84 jury verdict against Dearborn National Life Insurance Company for negligent misrepresentation to its employee.

Our client was employed by Dearborn National Life Insurance Company and was one of its top salespeople nationwide.  In late 2012, Dearborn began a large, companywide Reduction in Force (“RIF”).  Through no fault of his own, our client was one of the many employees who was slated to lose his job in this RIF.

Dearborn’s Regional Vice President told our client that his job was being officially eliminated, encouraged our client to find a new job, and said that if Dearborn gave any severance, it would be minimal and not more than two weeks’ pay.  Based on this information from the Regional Vice President, our client quickly found a new job and gave up the minimal severance he was told might be forthcoming.

Unbeknownst to our client and contrary to what he was told, Dearborn had specific, internal RIF and severance policies in place that required Dearborn to provide a RIF packet to affected employees that specifically detailed all severance benefits.

These policies also provided that the severance package for an employee with the equivalent role and tenure as our client would include a full year of base pay and a full year of incentive bonus pay. For our client, that amounted to $607,779.84.

Despite being told by Dearborn management that his job was eliminated and despite repeatedly seeking information about severance, our client was never provided with the RIF separation packet nor told of the separation benefits as required by Dearborn’s own policy.

Dearborn denied liability and claimed that our client was not entitled to severance because he “voluntarily resigned.” The case proceeded to trial in the Western District of Washington.  Following a two-week trial, the jury found that Dearborn was liable for negligent misrepresentation and awarded our client the full amount of the severance he was owed: $607,779.84.  After the jury verdict, Dearborn National was also ordered to pay two years of pre-judgment interest at 12%.