CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - Three Florida residents are suing Merrill Lynch, alleging it harmed certain employees after selling off its international business.
G. Perez, J. Perez, and M. Sosa, individually and for all others similarly situated, filed a class action lawsuit April 1 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina Charlotte Division against Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., alleging wrongful termination, Title VII disparate impact discrimination, breach of contract, conversion, unpaid wages, unjust enrichment, breach of good faith and fair dealing and fraudulent misrepresentation/concealment/omission.
According to the complaint after selling its international business to Switzerland-based Julius Baer, Merrill Lynch tried to convince financial advisers and their clients to remain with the firm, indicating it would support and grow the remaining international business in the future.
However, through the summer of 2015, the suit says, Merrill Lynch unsuccessfully attempted to sell the remaining domestic international business, then initiated several harmful policy changes, which had a discriminatory impact on Merrill Lynch domestic international financial advisers.
These employees lost existing business, the lawsuit states, and had difficulty securing new business. The suit says many were forced to leave Merrill Lynch to preserve their international business and clientele.
The plaintiffs and others in the class seek a jury trial, equitable and injunctive relief, compensation and benefits lost, punitive and compensatory damages, interests, disgorgement and attorney fees. They are represented by attorneys Michael S. Taaffe, Michael D. Bressan, Jarrod J. Malone, David L. Wyant, Jr. and Steven A. Meckler of Shumaker Loop & Kendrick in Sarasota, Florida, and Charlotte.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina Charlotte Division Case number 3:16-CV-00157-RJC-DCK