PITTSBURGH – After allegedly being denied more than $262,000 in stock compensation, a Cranberry Township man has sued his former employer in state court for breach of contract.

James Kusick of Cranberry Township filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Feb. 12 versus Stepany Allied Industrial, LLC, of Pittsburgh.

Per the litigation, Stepany Allied Industrial offered Kusick a position with the company on Sept. 8, 2015, along with stock options and other benefits. This was followed by the defendants asking Kusick to sign an Employment Agreement establishing an ownership interest for plaintiff, with the defendant.

During the relevant time period, Kusick was allegedly placed upon the bank accounts of the defendant, and Kusick would receive a 50 percent share of the profits from the defendant, titled “Partner Share Transfer”.

“During the course of the partnership relationship, Kusick was paid a base salary of 26 equal periodic installments monitored on a monthly basis, to which defendant improperly required plaintiff to pay back annually, and a salary on commission of 50 percent of the net profit brought in by company in whole for products and services sold through the company,” the suit says.

This was followed by Stepany Allied Industrial providing Kusick with another Employment Agreement on Oct. 9, 2017, this time without any ownership interest, the suit says. On Oct. 31, 2017, Kusick left the defendant’s employ and provided it with what was owed to the plaintiff, based upon the past conduct of the parties, the agreements between the parties and the partnership relationship between the parties, the suit says.

“Upon his departure from defendant, plaintiff was owed stock compensation equal to the amount of Two Hundred Sixty-Two Thousand, Two Hundred Twenty-One Dollars and 00/100. To date, plaintiff has still not received his stock compensation, despite many demands to do so. This constitutes a violation of the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law,” the suit states.

According to section of the same law, “Where wages remain unpaid for 30 days beyond the regular-scheduled payday…the employee shall be entitled to claim, in addition as liquidated damages an amount equal to 25 percent of the total amount of wages due, or $500, whichever is greater.” Further, “The court in any action brought under this section shall, in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff…allow costs for reasonable attorney’s fees of any nature to be paid by the defendant.”

The lawsuit claims Kusick is thereby owed reasonable attorney’s fees as a result of having to pursue legal action against the defendant, that the defendant has failed to pay what is owed to the plaintiff despite repeated requests and lastly, that the defendant’s failure to pay the outstanding amount owed to the plaintiff pursuant to the agreement constitutes a breach of contract.

For breach of contract, the plaintiff is seeking damages of $262,221 plus reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Wayne M. Chiurazzi of Chiurazzi Law Group, in Pittsburgh.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas case GD-18-002105

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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