Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Million Dollar Verdict Close to Home- Fired Seitel Executive Wins $4 million Award

In a city that has been inundated with the tales of the misdoings of high level executives at various companies, you might not have expected much sympathy for a CFO who was forced out of the company under allegations of having wrongfully used company funds. However, a Houston jury did not seem to let it bother them as shown on their verdict reported in the Houston Chronicle. The jury found a breach of her severance agreement and also found that Debra Valice had been defamed by the comments of her former employer. But the jury also apparently found she had violated her fiduciary obligations to the company and awarded it over $600,000 which at a minimum should offset the approximately $4 million awarded her. Much more to this story before it is finally put to bed as the company is already suggesting an inconsistency in the verdict, which will no doubt lead to post-trial motions and an appeal by some one.


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