Ruling for Lawyer Who Promised Bonus to Assistant

Well, this outcome doesn’t sound right!

"A Fayette Circuit judge has overruled a jury’s verdict in a lawsuit against Melbourne Mills Jr., ruling that the Lexington attorney’s verbal promise to pay an assistant $1.065 million is not a legally enforceable contract.

"In January, a jury awarded $900,000 to Cindy Sawyer of Versailles. Her lawsuit contends that she agreed to research and suggest potential class-action lawsuits for Mills if he agreed to reward her with a large bonus if one ever ‘obtained a big payday.’

"Sawyer says she persuaded Mills to file a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 431 fen-phen users who claimed the diet pill damaged their hearts. Mills negotiated a controversial $200 million settlement in 2001.

"In a secretly recorded June 2001 conversation played at Sawyer’s trial, Mills agreed to pay $1 million, plus $65,000 for a new car, over a series of payments lasting 10 years. Sawyer says the bonus was modeled after the one received by Erin Brockovich, a California legal assistant made famous by the 2000 movie starring Julia Roberts."