Subject-matter: Punitive damages in arbitral award.
Finding: USD 25 million was grossly excessive punitive damages and constituted manifest disregard of law, but not public policy.
Claimants: 1. Stephen B. Sawtelle (USA), 2. Hackett Associates, Inc. (USA)
Respondents: 1. Waddell & Reed, Inc. (USA), 2. Torchmark Corporation (USA)
Place of court proceedings: New York, USA
Arbitration proceedings: Arbitration proceedings before the National Association of Securities Dealers, USA
Applicable law: The U.S. Federal Arbitration Act
Terminated mutual fund broker (Stephen B Sawtelle) and his current employer (Hackett & Associates) filed claim with the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) against broker's former employer (Waddell & Reed, Inc.) and certain of its representatives, alleging tortuous interference with business expectancy and a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA). Following arbitration award of approximately $27 million in favour of plaintiffs, plaintiffs commenced proceeding to confirm award.