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Arkansas Judge Jay Finch dismissed most of Wal-Mart’s suit against its former vice chairman, Thomas Coughlin, yesterday, saying that both parties had agreed not to sue each other over events that might have occurred during Coughlin’s employment with the company.

Wal-Mart had sought to void Coughlin’s lucrative retirement package, saying that he had defrauded the company of about a half-million dollars. Coughlin has maintained his innocence, saying that he used the money to pay off union informants.

Finch ruled that Wal-Mart can only pursue damages against Coughlin for events that occurred after January 22, when both parties signed the agreement not to sue each other. "We grant Coughlin's motion to dismiss that part of Wal-Mart's complaint of all allegations occurring prior to signing the mutual release," Finch wrote. "With regard to Wal-Mart's post-release allegations, we deny Coughlin's motion to dismiss."
KC's View:
This is just foreplay. The main event will be when and if Coughlin has to go into court to prove that he didn’t do what he is accused of doing.