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Judgment for investment advisor upheld as breach, wage claim

April 7, 2014

Rulings in favor of an investment adviser who claimed breach of contract and violation of the Wage Claims Act were affirmed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals, as was his request for appellate attorney fees.

David Morton became concerned about his employer’s financial health and was fired in early 2013 as he was looking to start a new business, according to the record. His employer had reduced the percentage of net management fees he would receive from clients, and Morton sued shortly after he was terminated.

The appeals panel affirmed Hamilton Superior Judge Steve Nation in all respects in Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors, LLC v. David Morton, 29A02-1306-CC-553.

“The trial court did not err when it concluded that Sheaff Brock breached its contract with Morton when it unilaterally applied an amended compensation structure to client accounts already under management,” Judge Edward Najam wrote for the panel.

“And the trial court did not err when it concluded that Morton’s additional compensation constitutes a wage under the Wage Claims Act. Accordingly, Morton is entitled to attorney’s fees, including appellate attorney’s fees. Finally, the trial court did not err when it entered summary judgment in favor of Sheaff Brock on Morton’s constructive fraud claim.”
 

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