A Virginia circuit court has awarded $5.3 million in damages to Online Resources Corp.'s former chief executive and chairman in an employment lawsuit he filed against the banking technology vendor.
While a civil jury in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County on Friday rejected Matthew Lawlor's claim that Online Resources, of Chantilly, Va., wrongfully terminated his employment, it found in favor of four other claims, including that the company breached stock plan and severance agreements.
"It's about setting the record straight," Lawlor said in an interview on Monday. "I'm pleased with the judgment."
Lawlor said he involuntarily retired as the CEO of Online Resources, which he co-founded in 1989, in December 2009 after losing a proxy battle with the hedge fund Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC, which put three people on Online Resources' board. He remained employed at Online Resources until February 2010.
Lawlor was seeking $15.9 million in damages from the company, Online Resources said Friday.
"We are very disappointed in this verdict and we intend to aggressively pursue all available avenues to have this verdict overturned or set aside," John Dorman, Online Resources' chairman, said in a press release.
A spokeswoman for Online Resources, which provides online banking and bill-payment software to banks and credit unions, said in an email on Monday that it has decided to "pursue all available avenues, including post-trial motions and, if appropriate, appeals to set aside or overturn the verdict."
In the lawsuit Lawlor filed in April 2010, he argued that Online Resources breached his contract under two stock option plans, breached an implied employment agreement and other claims, according to Online Resources' annual report.
Of the five claims that were part of the suit, the jury rejected only Lawlor's wrongful termination claim.
John Kraft, an analyst who follows Online Resources for D.A. Davidson & Co., wrote in a research note published on Monday that the resolution of the litigation "will allow the company to move forward."
Online Resources "has a valuable product suite, biller network, patents and client base and we continue to believe the company is in the beginning stages of a turnaround that will eventually culminate in a sale," Kraft wrote.
Online Resources, which last year had a loss of $4.2 million on revenue of $149.5 million, announced in March it plans to continue operating as a stand-alone company after it received unsolicited bids from interested buyers.
On Friday, Online Resources said it was postponing its first-quarter earnings release to May 10 from May 4 to give it time to determine its potential liability costs.
The company spokeswoman said Online Resources will take a reserve for the quarter that will include the amount of the judgment, prejudgment interest from the date of Lawlor's February 2010 separation from the company and an estimate of Lawlor's legal fees if the judgment is upheld.
In announcing the delay of its earnings release, Online Resources provided preliminary results for the quarter, including $39.3 million in revenue, which is above previous guidance.