1st Circuit Backs Bank|On Stock Options

BOSTON (CN) – A bank is not liable to a former employee for telling him the wrong amount of time he had to exercise stock options, the 1st Circuit ruled.




     Gregory House stated that after he resigned from First Marblehead Corp., he was told he had 10 years to exercise his options. Actually, he only had three months.
     The trial court found that House relied on the bank’s representations. However, the jury awarded him no damages because it ruled that he would not have used the options within three months, even if he knew the correct time limit.
     On appeal, House challenged an expert, Robert Sherwin, who rebutted his claim that he would have used the options. The expert stated that House was going through a divorce and would have been unlikely to pay $80,000 to use the options.
     Judge Toruella agreed with the verdict.
      “At no point did Sherwin opine on the credibility of House’s testimony,” the judge wrote. “His comments were limited to expressing an opinion on the financial risk involved in the decision.”
     

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