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Rite Aid Chairman Wins Severance Dispute with Kroger

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Rite Aid Corp.'s chairman has won a severance dispute with his former employer, The Kroger Co., which has handed over a $6.1 million payment, the companies said.

The money went to Rite Aid, which two years ago advanced $5.97 million to Bob Miller while he pursued the money through legal channels. Kroger paid that sum plus interest in December, Rite Aid spokeswoman Karen Rugen told The Associated Press.

Kroger's payment follows a Nov. 25 decision against the company in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Rugen said. Kroger confirmed the company's payment, but declined further comment on the matter.

Miller and Kroger are now in arbitration over attorney fees and penalties. Miller sued Cincinnati-based Kroger in early 2000, just after he left the supermarket giant to join Rite Aid, according to the AP.

Miller contended that Kroger owed him severance pay based on his employment agreement, while Kroger argued that it did not owe Miller any severance if he left to join another company with the same type of business as Kroger.

Rite Aid's current chief executive, Mary Sammons, who was hired along with Miller from a Kroger subsidiary, Fred Meyer Stores Inc., also has a severance dispute with Kroger that is pending. Rite Aid advanced her $1.93 million two years ago, the AP reports.
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