$110,000 Arbitration Award Against Fidelity
A 79 year old lady with Parkinson’s Disease was awarded $110,000 by an arbitration panel in New York on September 17, 2010. The award consisted of compensatory damages of $87,850, plus interest and costs. After being placed in their fee based management program called Fidelity Portfolio Advisory Service (PAS), the brokers listed her investment objectives as income/preservation of capital and allocated her funds with 60% in stocks and 40% in fixed income. The allocation was because the brokers felt like she would outlive her money if she did not assume more risk, placing her in the “one size fits all” category. Over time her accounts were handled by seven or eight brokers as she was shuffled back and forth, without anyone altering her allocation to fit her needs while her health deteriorated.
The panel stated that “it was Fidelity’s system, under which clients were repeatedly shuffled from one agent to another, that caused injury to the Claimant” (FINRA# 09-03526; Viola McNeill v. Fidelity Brokerage Services, LLC, et al). Fidelity was also assessed $16,450 in forum fees for the hearing.