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Coughlin Asks Court to Dismiss Wal-Mart Benefits Lawsuit

BENTONVILLE, ARK. -- Thomas Coughlin, the former Wal-Mart vice chairman who was charged with misspending company funds and then was asked to relinquish his multimillion-dollar retirement package, has fired back by asking a state court to dismiss Wal-Mart's benefits lawsuit.

Coughlin's attorneys claim he and the company signed a release upon his retirement in March, which bars the company from pursuing him for "any and all liability for claims, causes of actions, demands, damages, attorney fees, expenses, compensation or other costs or losses of any nature." They claim that his retirement benefits are included among these conditions.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Sharon Weber told The Associated Press the company had not thoroughly examined Coughlin's request, but it "remains confident in the merits of [its] case."

Wal-Mart disclosed previously in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it was terminating Coughlin retroactively for "gross misconduct," according to the AP. And in its benefits lawsuit, Wal-Mart said that company policy allows it to seek forfeiture of retirement plan benefits for employees who engage in gross misconduct.
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