Herrick Helps DataTreasury Prevail in 10-Year, $100M Litigation With Former COO and Director
Herrick, Feinstein LLP Leads 10-Month Trial Resulting in Complete Dismissal of Plaintiff's Case
New York State Supreme Court Decision Addresses Remedies Employers May Pursue After Uncovering Wrongdoing by an Employee
On October 30, 2013, New York State Supreme Court Justice Emily Pines dismissed all claims brought by plaintiff Michael Trimarco against his former employer, DataTreasury Corporation – a company founded on Long Island, which owns patents covering technology for the electronic imaging of checks. Mr. Trimarco had sued the company in 2003, claiming that he was entitled to the value of 1.5 million stock options which had been granted to him in 2002, and which he had asserted were worth more than $100 million.
Justice Pines' decision stated that the plaintiff had, among other things, engaged in multiple acts of bad faith, had breached his fiduciary duties and was not entitled to any damages.
"This decision represents a significant victory not only for DataTreasury, but for other employers who have been victimized by disloyal employees," said Herrick, Feinstein partner Scott E. Mollen, a trial counsel for DataTreasury Corporation. "Employees who engage in deceptive conduct intended to undermine their employers' business do get caught, and there are serious consequences from such wrongful conduct. The Court did an incredibly thorough job of assimilating extensive and complicated factual testimony and applying the applicable law."
The Court found that during his relationship with DataTreasury, Mr. Trimarco engaged in a series of actions which were detrimental to the company, including:
- Undermining certain merger negotiations when he unwound an exclusive and valuable contract between a subsidiary of DataTreasury and a third-party
- Undermining negotiations with a prominent public company with which DataTreasury sought to partner
- Attempting to convert an audience with a U.S Congressman, intended to promote DataTreasury, into a meeting intended to benefit a company owned by his family.
The Court further found, as was documented in a series of emails, that Trimarco had coached one of the employees of DataTreasury's subsidiary "to lie to [DataTreasury] concerning [Trimarco's] plans in order to divert attention from his intent to remove that business from DataTreasury, form a new business, and take the same for himself and his new proposed partner."
"DataTreasury is extremely grateful that the Court undertook such a thorough analysis of the law, and dismissed every claim asserted by Mr. Trimarco. With the culmination of this ten-year litigation, justice has finally been served," added Mr. Mollen.
Herrick partner Scott E. Mollen represented DataTreasury in this matter. DataTreasury was also represented by Richard Friedman of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, and John Bracken and Linda Margolis of Bracken Margolin Besunder LLP.
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Founded in 1928, Herrick, Feinstein LLP is a prominent law firm headquartered in New York City providing a full range of legal services, including real estate, art law, bankruptcy and business reorganization, commercial litigation, corporate law, employment law, government relations, insurance, intellectual property, sports law, and tax and personal planning.