Sunny Tadjudin, who is suing Bank of America Corp. for firing her to avoid paying a bonus, admitted she was paranoid to accuse a former colleague in her witness statement of deceptively altering an e-mail.
“I accept I over-analyzed the e-mail and should not have done so,” she told the Hong Kong High Court yesterday under cross-examination.
The 50-year-old is seeking HK$28.3 million ($3.7 million) in bonuses she claims she should have been paid after generating three quarters of the profits of the bank’s Asian distressed-debt trading group from 2005 to 2007. Tadjudin, at the prompting of Adrian Huggins, the bank’s attorney, apologized to the colleague, John Wacker.
Tadjudin had said in her witness statement that Wacker, an in-house lawyer at the bank, altered the date of an e-mail regarding a transaction. She said yesterday she believed that was the case at the time, when she was working from home while recovering from surgery and under pressure to finalize the deal.
“I admitted I was paranoid about this incident,” she said when asked if she accepted the allegation was scandalous and unconscionable.
The incident was used to attack her in performance appraisals and in her dismissal, Tadjudin said. She rejected a suggestion that she was prone to drawing adverse inferences about colleagues.
Huggins ended yesterday’s questioning by asking if she agreed that another example was her claim that the bank fired her with the sole purpose of avoiding payment of her performance bonus, “rather than to end a relationship that was not happy or satisfactory for all concerned.”
“No,” said Tadjudin, who was fired in August 2007 for alleged failings including poor communication and not being a team player.
Her lawyer, Richard Healy, declined to comment because the trial is ongoing. Another of her lawyers, Graham Harris, told the court earlier that the bank’s “scandalous and unconscionable conduct” breached the implied terms of her employment contract.
Tadjudin won a bid to have the case heard at trial in 2010 when an appeals court overturned a dismissal of her claim. A separate claim of sexual discrimination against the bank in another court is delayed until the resolution of this case.
Mark Tsang, a spokesman in Hong Kong for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America, declined to comment on the case.
The case is Tadjudin Sunny v. Bank of America, National Association, HCA322/2008 in Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance. The discrimination case is DCEO4/2009 in Hong Kong District Court.