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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS

Ex-Worker's Award Stands in Suit Against Amplicon

November 22, 2000|BONNIE HARRIS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The state Supreme Court has refused to review a lower court's decision to reinstate an $870,000 jury award for a former Amplicon Inc. employee who alleged that the company's top executive assaulted him and dragged him out of the Santa Ana office during an argument.

The decision Monday means that former worker J. Scott McFetters can accept the money or opt for another trial that would include additional claims that had been thrown out in Orange County Superior Court.

"We're pleased with the decision, of course, but it's been five years and we've just never had finality," said M. Christine Brady, McFetters' attorney.

Amplicon officials Tuesday expressed disappointment with the Supreme Court's decision. The company has insisted that McFetters' allegations were completely without merit.

McFetters sued in 1995 alleging that he had been wrongfully terminated from the computer leasing firm after months of physical abuse and intimidation by Patrick E. Paddon, the company's chief executive. The suit also alleged breach of contract, false imprisonment and assault and battery.

All but the assault and battery allegations were dismissed early in the Superior Court trial by Judge David Brickner. After a jury awarded $870,000 to McFetters, the judge reduced the award to $5,000.

McFetters appealed. The 4th District Court of Appeal reinstated the $870,000 award and ruled that Brickner erred in dismissing the other allegations. The court said the additional claims would be included if McFetters chooses a new trial.

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