Los Angeles Times

MARCH 14, 1989

A former employee of a Tarzana medical testing firm who last week was awarded $9 million in a lawsuit against the company, was ordered Monday to pay his ex-employer $600,000 in damages.

Jurors had sided with employee Harvey J. Lippman in the suit, which argued that he was entitled to a 20% share of the company at the time he was fired. The $9-million verdict last Tuesday was one of the largest awards in Van Nuys Superior Court history, said Judge Thomas Schneider.

Lippman filed the suit against the company in October, 1985, after he as fired by the firm's owner, Dr. Allen M. Levy. Lippman who worked for the firm 14 years, claimed he was entitled to 20% of the company under an oral agreement with Levy.

Don Howarth, Lippman's attorney, maintained that Levy fired Lippman to avoid giving him 20% of the company, an oral commitment the attorney said Levy agreed to in 1971.

Browne argued that since Lippman, 46 could produce no written document, the oral agreement was not valid. He also maintained that his client fired Lippman when he discovered that his employee was using the firm's client lists and other assets to establish his own company.