A majority-public Finra arbitration panel has awarded a client of J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons and Christopher Duke Bennett, one of its brokers, $445,000 in compensatory damages.
The award was $195,000 more than what the client, Elizabeth Nickens, originally had sought in compensatory damages, but less than a final damage request for a total in excess of $900,000 — including compensatory damages, attorneys' fees, interest, punitive damages and costs.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, in an award statement, said that Ms. Nickens had asserted the following causes of action: breach of fiduciary duty, unauthorized trading, suitability, churning, misrepresentation, omission of facts, common law negligence, fraud, failure to supervise, common law negligent supervision and violation of Kentucky statutes, regulations and Finra rules.
The causes of action related to losses to Ms. Nickens' qualified and non-qualified retirement accounts. She alleged that Mr. Bennett, who has been with the firm since 1995, executed transactions in her accounts without authorizations; allocated her assets in an unsuitable manner for someone her age and with her investment objectives, without discussing the risks associated with such re-allocation; and engaged in excessive trading in her accounts.
The statement of claim was filed in March 2017.