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Kai Herbert Sues J.P. Morgan Over Salary Typo in Contract


Trader Kai Herbert is suing J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. over a typo in his employment contract that would give him a salary of 24 million rand — about $3.1 million. Unfortunately, the actual salary the firm meant to pay Herbert was 2.4 million rand, or just over $311,000.

After the typo was discovered, Herbert elected not to take the job, and instead filed a lawsuit against J.P. Morgan to the tune of 580,000 pounds ($920,000) for reneging on the contract as written. The firm's defense team argues that Herbert should have recognized the outsized salary immediately.

"How can you possibly suggest that they would pay you so much money for an executive director level job?" asked J.P. Morgan lawyer Charles Ciumei during Herbert's cross-examination.

That point will be pivotal in the case, according to David Million, a professor at Washington & Lee University Law School. Million told MSNBC, "If $2.4 million is within the range that a person in this position should reasonably expect to be paid, I think it is very unlikely that his claim will succeed. If 2.4 is normal, any sensible person should know that an offer to pay 10 times that amount is a mistake."

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Other legal scholars predict that the case will settle out of court. What would you do if you noticed such a glaring error in a salary contract?

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(Photo credit: Brian Turner/Flickr)

Marissa Brassfield
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