FINRA Panel Pops Burch & Company For $350K

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel in Anchorage, Alaska has entered an award in favor of Frank Griswold for $350,000 in compensatory damages against Burch & Company Incorporated and its broker John Frederick Jeffers.

The Statement of Claim in the case was filed in May 2010 asserting various causes of action, including negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent supervision, breach of contract and fraud, among other things. The claim was initially seeking compensatory damages in the amount of $1,993,422.20 but that amount was reduced to $399,560 at the conclusion of the evidentiary hearing.

One of the parties involved in the case, William Clifford Congdon III, had filed for bankruptcy protection on January 28, 2011. Therefore, any and all claims against him are indefinitely stayed pending the resolution of that matter and the panel accordingly made no determination with regard to claims against Mr. Congdon.

The evidentiary hearing lasted six (6) days and upon its conclusion the FINRA arbitration panel retired to deliberate and consider all of the evidence, both oral and documentary, prior to rendering its decision. After having considered all of the facts and evidence, the panel concluded that Respondents Burch and Jeffers were jointly and severally liable to Mr. Griswold for $350,000 in compensatory damages, plus interest on that amount at the rate of 3.5% per annum from 21 days from the date of the award is served on the parties until it is paid in full. The panel’s final decision was with regard to the assessment of the forum fees for the arbitration and it split the $15,600 in forum fees equally between the parties. FINRA# 10-02477; Frank Griswold v. Burch & Company Incorporated, William Clifford Congdon III and John Frederick Jeffers).

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