Sept 17 A U.S. district court confirmed on
Monday that Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch must
pay $10.2 million to two former brokers who had been denied
deferred compensation, denying the firm's petition to vacate the
The original ruling was made by a Financial Industry
Regulatory Authority panel in early April. Many of the 3,300
brokers who left Merrill after Bank of America's purchase of the
firm are pursuing claims that the acquisition constituted "good
reason" for collecting their deferred pay.
Merrill denied all requests to collect deferred compensation,
according to prior court filings in the case.
Merrill had filed a petition to vacate the award decision,
which included $5.2 million in compensatory damages, as well as
$5 million in punitive damages, to Florida brokers Tamara
Smolchek and Meri Ramazio. The brokerage claimed, among other
things, that one arbitrator was biased against Merrill in its
petition to vacate the award.
In the court decision filed on Monday in the Southern
District of Florida, the court said it found no basis to
overturn the arbitration panel's ruling and concluded that
Merrill "has not sufficiently demonstrated evident partiality on
the part of the panel or that the panel engaged in misconduct or
exceeded its powers."
A Bank of America spokesman said the company is reviewing
The $10.2 million award was divided by the two former