Pa. appeals court upholds $188M Wal-Mart verdict

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A $188 million class-action verdict against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Sam's Club over payment to employees for rest breaks and off-the-clock work was upheld Friday by a Pennsylvania appeals court.

A three-judge Superior Court panel said there was sufficient evidence at trial to conclude there had been a breach of contract, unjust enrichment and violations of state labor laws.

The judges also ruled in a 211-page opinion that the presiding Philadelphia judge erred in determining some of the plaintiffs' legal fees, and sent that part of the case back for recalculation.

The 2006 trial, which lasted 32 days, resulted in a finding that Wal-Mart did not pay employees for all the work they performed and did not let them take their paid, mandatory rest breaks, the judges wrote. The court awarded $46 million in attorneys' fees.

Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Rossiter said the retail giant believes the court decision was wrong in a number of respects and looks forward to additional review in the courts.

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