Monday, March 30, 2009
FINRA Panel Awards Customer Over $30 Million in Damages from Merrill
On March 16, A FINRA arbitration panel awarded claimants $30.6 million in compensatory damages (the full amount of claimant's claim), plus 9% interest, against Advest, Inc. and Merrill Lynch, one of the largest awards in a customer dispute. The claimant, the Trustees of the Masonic Hall and Asylum Fund, charged Advest and Merrill with negligence, breach of contract, misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the purchase of interests in Sphinx Managed Futures Index Fund. The award also ordered the claimant to assign to Merrill its interest of its claims in New York State courts against Price Waterhouse Coopers and in the liquidation proceeding of the Sphinx Fund to the extent of the monetary award recovered in the arbitration.
The arbitration was conducted in Albany, NY.