Jury Finds Billionaire Heir to S.C. Johnson Fortune Failed To Pay Employee

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KJC Law Firm announced today that a Suffolk Superior Court jury returned a verdict against H. Fisk Johnson, III, who is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of S.C. Johnson & Son, and Stephen Rose, who is the Managing Director of Johnson’s venture capital company, for failing to pay wages to an employee.

A Suffolk Superior Court jury returned a verdict today in Civil Action, 2009-00776, against H. Fisk Johnson, III, who according to court documents is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of S.C. Johnson & Son and Stephen Rose, who is the Managing Director of Johnson’s venture capital company for failing to pay wages to an employee.

The jury found that for nearly three years, Johnson and Rose refused to pay wages to Andrew Segal, M.D. who was running a start-up research business that Johnson and Rose had funded. Dr. Segal was born with cerebral palsy but graduated from Harvard College and B.U. Medical School and completed a residency at Mass General Hospital and a fellowship at MIT. During his fellowship, he invented certain processes which showed promise in fighting cancer. According to court documents, in exchange for funding the start-up, Dr. Segal had relinquished the rights to the patents then pending as well as the right to future patents. After disagreements in the company, Rose filed for dissolution and a Johnson company purchased the patent and patents pending. Dr. Segal got nothing according to court documents.

The jury awarded Dr. Segal $413,912.20 in salary and benefits. With interest and mandatory trebling under the Massachusetts Wage Act, the judgment will exceed $1.3 million. A trial on the issue of punitive damages will determine whether an additional $868,000 is awarded.

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Kathy Jo Cook