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Court Awards Over $500,000 in Fees and Punitive Damages to Domina Law Group pc llo's Client for Failure to Pay Compensation

Court Awards Over $500,000 in Fees and Punitive Damages to Domina Law Group pc llo's Client for Failure to Pay Compensation

When Domina Law Group pc llo’s client’s employment with a Nebraska engineering firm deeply involved in the ethanol industry ended, the firm apparently thought it had sidestepped its obligation to pay its departed business originator, as promised. But, that expectation ended, abruptly, when the District Court in Douglas County rendered judgment for the firm’s client.

George worked for the engineering firm under a contract requiring it pay him commissions for work he originated, processed, and developed. This led the company to major, lucrative engineering projects. George landed the projects for the firm. He noticed, once projects came into the office, he was distanced from them by firm managers. But, George continued with his work – which was to get business in the door.

Things slowed down despite George’s best efforts. The economy changed. New construction of plants, like those in which the firm specialized, particularly in the ethanol industry, fell off. George found himself without work. He also found the firm refused to pay him.

This is when Domina Law Group pc llo and George became acquainted. For George, the acquaintance bore fruit when, in mid-August 2010, judgment was entered in George’s favor for amounts exceeding his expectations when he hired the firm.

When the case was over, George won:

Unpaid Commissions

$385,208.18

Attorney’s fees, awarded under a statute providing for the recovery of attorney’s fees in cases where compensation is not paid as required

$102,553.04

Punitive damages to be paid to the State School Fund

$25,000.00

Court costs

$736.00

Total

$513,497.22

Terry A. White and David A. Domina handled the matter for George. Ms. White explained, “Our client fully performed his obligations to his employer. The employer did not perform for him. The court made it right.”

The case, scheduled for presentation to a jury, is unusual because it includes an award of funds to the State Common School Fund to support the public schools.

This unique feature drew a comment from Terry White, too. “Nebraska’s long standing public policy has not allowed private litigants to recover punitive damages. But, the state’s law, in certain expressed circumstances, does permit recovery of punitive damages for the benefit of the State’s Common School Fund. The idea is punitive damages should not enrich a victim. The victim should simply recover compensation. But, where reprehensible conduct occurs, and still no public policy is violated and no crime committed, then punitive damages, payable to the state, are an important deterrent and provide a powerful incentive to make people behave themselves.”

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