Judge Dismisses Large Part of Wal-Mart Lawsuit Against Former Executive
Bentonville, Ark., An Arkansas judge Tuesday dismissed a large part of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s lawsuit against its former vice chairman Tom Coughlin, saying the executive and the company had agreed not to sue one another over any events that happened during Coughlin’s tenure. Benton County Circuit Judge Jay Finch said Wal-Mart failed to show that Arkansas law required a company officer to disclose any improprieties before signing a general release from liability.
Wal-Mart had sued Coughlin this summer, saying he misspent company money before he retired in January. Coughlin remained on the board. He resigned from the board in March, when Wal-Mart disclosed it was handing documents over to the Justice Department showing that $500,000 had been misspent. Wal-Mart filed suit against Coughlin in July alleging fraud in connection with efforts to misappropriate money through bogus expenses and the unauthorized use of company gift cards.
The judge said Wal-Mart can still pursue losses that occurred after Jan. 22, when the company and Coughlin waived their right to sue over past events. Wal-Mart says it gave Coughlin $400,000 in April because of a benefits calculation error and wants the money returned.
“We grant Coughlin’s motion to dismiss that part of Wal-Mart’s complaint of all allegations occurring prior to signing the mutual release,” Finch said. “With regard to Wal-Mart’s post-release allegations, we deny Coughlin’s motion to dismiss.”
Anti-Wal-Mart Commercial Airs Today
New York City, Organized criticism from Wake Up Wal-Mart hits the air waves today promoting the movie “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices.” The union-funded group critical of Wal-Mart Stores launched today a national media effort that includes: a full-page ad in USA Today, Internet ads on 19 sites with more than 17 million readers, and a 30-second television commercial on CNN and CNBC. Wal-Mart describes the movie as ”a propaganda video.”
The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer is touting the release of a separate DVD: “Why Wal-Mart Works: And Why That Drives Some People C-R-A-Z-Y”.
Pathmark Launches Web Shopping
Carteret, N.J., Pathmark Stores broke into the ranks of e-retailers: the 142-store regional grocer introduced on-line shopping through its company Web site on Friday. Pathmark stores in Middletown, N.J., and Edgewater, N.J., are the first two stores kicking off the program. A third store, located in Lawnside, N.J., will follow shortly.
Customers will be able to place an order at any time through www.pathmark.com, and pick up their order between 10:00 a.m. through 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The fee for on-line shopping is $10.00 per order. All items available in the store can be ordered on-line, with the exception of prescription drugs. Manufacturers coupons can be used via on-line shopping and the Pathmark Advantage Club loyalty offerings will also apply.
“This offering gives the customer who is constrained by time another option to traditional supermarket shopping, enabling them to devote the time savings to another aspect of their lives,” said Grant McLoughlin, Pathmark senior VP of advertising.