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Former Wal-Mart Exec Seeks Dismissal of Suit


Bentonville, Ark., Alawyer for former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. vice chairman Tom Coughlin argued Tuesday for the dismissal of a lawsuit by the retailer, saying his client had an agreement with the company that it would not take punitive action against him after he retired.

Coughlin’s lawyer argued that his client and Wal-Mart had a mutual agreement exempting Coughlin from any punitive action related to his work for the company. An attorney for Wal-Mart told the court that as an officer of the company, Coughlin had a fiduciary duty to disclose information about how Wal-Mart funds were being used.

Berlin County Circuit Judge Jay Finch is to decide in a couple of weeks whether to allow Wal-Mart to go forward with the lawsuit it filed this summer against its former No. 2 executive.

Wal-Mart sued Coughlin over his alleged misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit himself. Coughlin retired in January but remained on the company board of directors. He resigned from the board in March, when the chain disclosed it was handing documents over to the Justice Department showing that $500,000 had been misspent. A federal grand jury is now investigating.

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