Fairfax County Jury Awards Fired Online Resources CEO Lawlor $5.3 Million
A Fairfax County, Va., jury has awarded former Online Resources Corp. CEO and chairman Matt Lawlor approximately $5.3 million in damages in a lawsuit he filed against the company he co-founded after what he said was his forced retirement in December 2009.
Lawlor said he won four of five claims he filed in the case. The Circuit Court jury rejected his claim of wrongful termination when his employment was officially ended in February 2010. He had been seeking $15.9 million plus pre-judgment interest.
In an interview with Credit Union Times Monday, Lawlor said the suit wasn't just about the money.
"The implication was that there was some kind of performance issue here, but there really wasn't. While we've had stronger years, our core earnings per share were up 50% in 2009, despite the recession and the collapse of the banking industry," he said.
"We were the first Internet banking company back in 1989 and there are a lot of pioneering people there who deserve some credit. I'm very proud of the innovation that took place at Online Resources. This was all about getting the record straight, for my career and for other people at the company, and hopefully it will all bear out in the final appeals process, if the company should choose to go that route," he said.
John Dorman, chairman of the Online Resources board of directors, said, “We are very disappointed in this verdict and we intend to aggressively pursue all available avenues to have this verdict overturned or set aside.”
Dorman took over as interim CEO in when Lawlor’s retirement was announced. He was succeeded last July by Joseph Cowan.
Chantilly, Va.-based Online Resources was founded in 1989 and was one of the pioneers in the online banking industry – providing the service to hundreds of credit unions and other indstitutions - and then moving into payments and direct billing and other channels.
The company had lost $4.2 million in the last fiscal year, including $2 million in the fourth quarter. First quarter results were expected to be announced this week and the company predicted “strong operating results due to higher than expected transaction volumes for both the company’s banking and e-commerce segments.”