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Jury awards $6.6 million to executive as compensation for sale of old Sparrow Point steel mill to developers

Represented by Thomas & Libowitz, P.A. attorney Andrew O’Connell, a federal jury in Baltimore, MD awarded a multimillion dollar verdict against a St. Louis based developer for wrongfully refusing to pay a former employee a commission he earned on the $110 million sale of a large piece of commercial property located in Maryland in 2014. The property, known as Sparrows Point, was the former home of a steel mill that operated in Baltimore for over 100 years.

The verdict is one of the largest ever for a single plaintiff under Maryland’s wage payment laws.

“The significance of this verdict cannot be overstated,” said Andrew O’Connell, the worker’s attorney. “It is a finding that down the road protects all workers who collect a paycheck in Maryland.”

The jury found in favor of John H. Macsherry, Jr., the former vice president for leasing and development for Commercial Development Company, Inc., which is based out of St. Louis.  “Mr. Macsherry was hired as the ‘boots on the ground’ in Baltimore for the project’s St. Louis-based developers,” said O’Connell.

The 3,100-acre former steel plant was bought by Commercial Development Company, Inc. in 2012 out of RG Steel’s bankruptcy with its title placed in the name of Sparrows Point, LLC. St. Louis native Michael Roberts is the principal, vice president and co-owner of Commercial Development Company, Inc. as well as the managing member of the limited liability company.  When the property was sold, Roberts refused to pay Macsherry’s commission, leading Macsherry to sue both companies and its owner in federal court after several attempts to collect.

The federal jury found against all three defendants, awarding damages for violation of Maryland’s Wage Payment and Collection Law (MWPCL), breach of contract and other causes of action.  The jury also found that all three defendants did not act in good faith under the MWPCL, which by statue allows Macsherry to collect his attorneys’ fees and costs.

The MWPCL covers employees who believe their employer has wrongfully withheld or refused to pay the full amount of wages, commissions, overtime, bonuses, fringe benefits or other compensation due for work performed.

CASE CAPTION:                              John H. Macsherry, Jr. v Sparrows Point, LLC, et al.

Case No. 1:15-cv-00022 FPS

ORDER OF JUDGMENT FILED:     July 16, 2018

Contact information:      Andrew O’Connell, Esq.

Thomas & Libowitz, P.A.

100 Light Street, Suite 1100

Baltimore, MD 21202

(410) 752-2468 (O)

(410) 591-7658 (C)

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