Ex-Marsh & McLennan Executives Sues Spitzer, Slate Magazine

Two former Marsh & McLennan Cos. executives, who had insurance-fraud charges against them dropped, sued ex-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer claiming they were defamed in a Slate magazine article.

William Gilman said Spitzer, in a Slate.com opinion piece written in response to a Wall Street Journal editorial critical of his investigation, indicated that Gilman, who wasn’t named in the article, had committed crimes, according to an Aug. 19 complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Edward McNenney, another former Marsh & McLennan executive, filed suit in New York State Supreme Court Aug. 19.

Gilman worked for Marsh & McLennan from 1976 to 2004, according to his complaint. In 2004 Spitzer announced an investigation into practices at the company, including fees paid by insurers to brokers who place business with them. Gilman was indicted in 2005 on 37 counts. He was convicted of one charge, restraint of trade and competition.

The convictions of Gilman and McNenney were thrown out by the trial judge, James Yates of state Supreme Court, who said newly discovered contradictory evidence “undermines the court’s confidence in the verdict.”

‘Illegalities Rampant’

“I haven’t seen the lawsuit and so will not comment on it,” Spitzer said in a telephone interview. “The illegalities rampant at Marsh & McLennan leading to their fine of $850 million and the multiple judicial findings of illegality are clear from the public record.”

The Slate Group LLC was also sued by Gilman and McNenney. E-mails to the magazine’s press office seeking comment didn’t receive a reply.

“The editorial notes that two of the cases against employees of the company were dismissed after the defendants were convicted,” Spitzer wrote of the Wall Street Journal piece in his August 2010 Slate article titled “They Still Don’t Get It.” “The editorial fails to note the many employees of Marsh who have been convicted.”

Gilman is seeking at least $60 million in damages in the federal suit. McNenney seeks $30 million in the state case.

The federal case is Gilman v. Spitzer, 11-c-5843, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). The state case is McNenney v. Spitzer, 109628/2011, Supreme Court of the State of New York.

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