On Friday, January 4, 2013, a Financial Industry Dispute Resolution, Inc. (“FINRA”) Arbitration Panel awarded a former Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (“MSSB”) manager $1 million in compensatory damages. See Gregory Carl Torretta vs. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney – Case Number 11-01914. On or about May 12, 2011, Gregory Carl Torretta (“Torretta”), the former MSSB manager, filed a statement of claim with FINRA alleging MSSB forced him to resign in September 2010 and asserted the following causes of action: violation of FINRA Rules; breach of employment contract; and wrongful termination. Torretta alleged that he was forced to resign when an underperforming branch manager, who Torretta was preparing to terminate, informed Torretta’s superiors that he was interviewing at other firms. Although those allegations were untrue, MSSB refused to allow Torretta to explain or refute them in his defense. In his Statement of Claim, Torretta requested compensatory damages in the amount of $4.5 million, but raised his request for compensatory damages to between $8 million and $9 million at the hearing in this matter. After ten (10) days of hearing in this matter, the arbitration panel awarded Torretta $1 million in compensatory damages.
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