Console Mattiacci Law, LLC recently represented Charles Nifong, the former chief investment officer and vice president of finance for Allentown-based CrossAmerica (formerly Lehigh Gas), a leading wholesale distributor of motor fuels and owner and lessee of real estate used in the retail distribution of motor fuels. On October 1, 2014, CST Brands Inc.—a Fortune 500 Company that is one of the largest independent retailers of motor fuels and convenience merchandise in North America—purchased CrossAmerica.
As part of the acquisition, the companies executed a change-in-control contract. Under the contract, Nifong was protected from having his job duties reduced, and if his duties were reduced, he would be entitled to benefits under the Contract. Nifong asserted that certain key duties as vice president of finance and chief investment officer began to be reduced in January and February 2015, such that he was entitled to compensation. The company failed to pay him.
Nifong sued CST Brands, Inc., CST Services, LLC, Cross America Partners LP, and Cross America GP LLC, alleging breach of contract and violations of the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law. Counsel for the companies claimed that Nifong’s job duties were not reduced to the extent he alleged, that the company offered him superior positions which he did not accept, and that even if Nifong’s job duties were reduced, then he was not entitled to any benefits because he terminated his employment in an untimely manner.
The trial lasted four days and trial deliberations lasted 70 minutes. Nifong sought to recover a stipulated amount of $1,249,337. The jury found that the defendants breached their contract with Nifong and did not act in good faith. As such, they awarded him the stipulated contract amount plus liquidated damages, which equaled 25% of the stipulated contract amount. Judgment was thereafter entered for $1,711,591.44 plus attorneys’ fees.
If you are dealing with any kind of employment contract dispute in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or New York, you will want to contact Console Mattiacci Law, LLC as soon as possible. Our experienced Philadelphia and New Jersey attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of your situation. We will work to hold the negligent party fully accountable, so you can recover all of the damages you are entitled to. Call 215-545-7676 for our Pennsylvania office or 856-854-4000 for our New Jersey office to take advantage of a free consultation.