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Western Initiative dismisses Kassan

Published on .

Michael Kassan's employment with Western Initiative Media Worldwide has been terminated. Mr. Kassan filed suit last week against Western and its parent Interpublic Group of Cos. seeking a total $63.5 million--$50 million in arbitration before the American Arbitration Association in Los Angeles and another $13.5 million for "anticipatory breach of [a five-year] contract" scheduled to begin Jan. 1 in U.S. District Court in New York. Interpublic general counsel Nicholas Camera said Mr. Kassan was officially terminated when his 30-day leave of absence ended Friday, Aug. 13. Mr. Camera declined to elaborate, adding only: "He's brought suit and we're going to vigorously defend that." When asked if Interpublic will countersue, he said, "Stay tuned." Industry insiders believe Interpublic will defend with a suit of its own; it has 20 days to file its own suit (or ask for an extension) in response to Mr. Kassan's New York filing. The arbitration in Los Angeles will be a private proceeding.

Copyright August 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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