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Robert Ostrowski v. Prudential Securities - 10/26/2005

Award Amount- $1,940,385.00

Case Summary: On October 26, 2005, a panel of three arbitrators from the New York Stock Exchange awarded $1,650,385.50 in compensatory damages and $290,000.00 in attorneys' fees to Robert J. Ostrowski, a former retail broker who had worked for over 41 years for Prudential Securities, Inc. in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. In addition, the arbitrators ordered that Mr. Ostrowski's Form U-5 be amended to state that he was terminated "without cause on July 25, 2001." The panel also ordered Prudential to pay the hearing costs of $15,000.00 and Mr. Ostrowski's $1,000.00 filing fee. Mr. Ostrowski sued Prudential for wrongful termination and breach of contract by withholding the value of his deferred compensation -- principally Master Share benefits -- worth approximately $1,300,000 when the claim was filed. Mr. Ostrowski also filed claims for violation of the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Act and for defamation regarding the reason for termination that Prudential originally placed on his Form U-5. This appears to be the first successful employee litigation against Prudential for wrongful withholding of an employee's MasterShare monies. Mr. Ostrowski worked for Prudential as a retail broker in its Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania office from 1960 until Prudential terminated his employment on July 25, 2001. In recognition of Mr. Ostrowski's outstanding performance and substantial client base, Prudential endowed Mr. Ostrowski with numerous awards. Most notably, Prudential appointed Mr. Ostrowski to its prestigious Chairman's Council for 25 consecutive years. Mr. Ostrowski was one of only 11 retail brokers in Prudential's history to accomplish this and he was honored for the achievement in Paris, France just weeks before Prudential notified him that his employment was being terminated "for cause" due to an alleged unauthorized trade. The hearings in this matter were held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and lasted for seven days. . Read the official NYSE decision.


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