Los Angeles judge approves $4.1 billion arbitration award in pay dispute

LA judge OKs $4.1 billion award in pay dispute

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has approved a $4.1 billion arbitration award against an Internet communications company accused of firing an employee in a dispute over commissions he said he was owed.

The award approved last week by Judge Teresa Sanchez-Gordon includes $3.9 billion in damages and $200 million in interest for plaintiff Paul Thomas Chester.

Arbitrator William F. McDonald found Chester’s former employer iFreedom Communications Inc. and its founder Timothy Ringgenberg liable for breach of contract, failure to pay wages and other offenses.

Chester’s lawyer Scot Bernstein declined to speculate on how the award would be collected. He conceded that there are few entities that could pay such a sum.

A phone number for Ringgenberg in Fountain Valley, was disconnected.

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