Legal Alert: $1.9 Million Jury Verdict Awarded on Former Employee's Minnesota State Law Claim


Last month, a federal jury in St. Paul awarded a former engineer at Seagate Technology $1.9 million after concluding that his former employer violated a rarely used Minnesota Statute that prohibits the use of knowingly false statements to induce someone into employment. Vaidyanathan v. Seagate US LLC, et al. Vaidyanathan, a yield engineer with a Ph.D. in metallurgical engineering, had worked at Texas Instruments in Dallas as the head of the department tasked with ensuring reliability and the uniform operation of the company's products. In late 2006, Seagate sought to manufacture and sell a semiconductor drive for the first time, and in 2007 the company began looking for a yield engineer for this new product. (Seagate had historically and exclusively manufactured and sold hard drive disks).

The following year Vaidyanathan accepted a non-management position at Seagate for a yield engineer position after negotiating upward his salary, sign-on bonus, and stock options. Vaidyanathan testified that he understood that he was hired as an at-will employee with no promise of a guaranteed length of employment. Nevertheless, he subsequently relocated to Minnesota from Texas with his wife and two young children. Seagate reimbursed Vaidyanathan for his expenses associated with the move. Vaidyanathan began his employment with Seagate in February of 2008 and purchased a home three months later. Seagate promoted Vaidyanathan in May 2008, although he had not done any actual yield engineering work, and gave him a raise and a bonus in August 2008. In September 2008, Vaidyanathan learned that Seagate was discontinuing its efforts to develop and sell a semiconductor drive. In December 2008, his position was effectively terminated with the company and he was laid off with 29 other individuals.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© FordHarrison | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


FordHarrison on:

JD Supra Readers' Choice 2016 Awards
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.