May 8, 2009 (By Brenda Craig)
St. Louis, MO: In what can only be described as a victory for the millions of elderly Americans who have been caught up in the maelstrom of bad investor advice by Wall Street firms, Morgan Keegan has been ordered to pay back the investment losses suffered by a St. Louis woman and also pay $50,000 in punitive damages.
In 2007, a Morgan Keegan representative allegedly advised 79-year-old Laura E.A. Forrester Hearell to invest her life savings in volatile mutual funds that a year later were crushed in the market meltdown. Half her nest egg was fried to the point where it was uncertain whether Forrester Hearell, who suffers from dementia, would be able to afford the nursing home where she currently lives.
Attorney Andrew Stoltmann represented Forrester Hearell and her trustee Diana Landau at a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) hearing in St. Louis. He argued that Morgan Keegan breached its fiduciary duty, violated securities dealers’ rules, made fraudulent misrepresentations and generally acted in an illegal and irresponsible manner.
“This award means the world to her,” said Stoltmann who is currently handling dozens of similar suits including another 60 against Morgan Keegan alone. “She will have her losses, attorney’s fees, interest, costs returned to her plus the $50,000 in punitive damages.”
FINRA also awarded her trustee more than $4,000.