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Former Angelos firm employee sues over $250,000 pay dispute

A former longtime employee of Peter Angelos Law is suing for more than $257,000 that he claims the firm has refused to pay him.

The plaintiff, Fredrick H. Durst, worked at the firm for more than 37 years before leaving in September, according to the complaint. Durst claims that the firm stopped paying him compensation for business he generated in 2019, and now owes him $257,723 for more than $1 million in business he produced.

Durst filed his complaint in Baltimore City Circuit Court on Feb. 11. The suit names the Peter Angelos law firm and Louis F. Angelos, the son of Peter Angelos who ran the firm during the time period when Durst was allegedly not paid.

Louis Angelos

Louis Angelos

Durst’s attorney, Kathleen Cahill, said in an email that “wage theft is always an outrage — but for a law firm to be taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from an extraordinarily dedicated lawyer of nearly 40 years, that’s next level outrageous.”

A phone message left for Louis Angelos was not returned Friday.

The lawsuit is an unusual public airing of a pay dispute at the high-profile law firm, which is known for its handling of asbestos, defective products and medical malpractice litigation.

The firm was founded more than 50 years ago by Peter G. Angelos, a former Baltimore City Council member who in 1993 formed a group of investors to buy the Baltimore Orioles. He stepped back from leadership of the team as his health declined and his sons, John and Louis, have overseen the team in recent years.

The lawsuit against the Angelos firm provides little information about the business Durst brought to the firm or the circumstances of his departure in September. Durst was entitled to 25% of the attorney’s fee income generated on cases he brought to Peter Angelos Law, in addition to his base salary, according to the lawsuit.

“Defendants’ failure and refusal to pay are not the result of any bona fide dispute over Plaintiff’s entitlement to that compensation, but rather were done to take advantage of Plaintiff and to keep his hard-earned compensation for their own financial gain,” Cahill wrote in the complaint.

The suit alleges breach of contract and unpaid wages under Maryland’s wage payment and collection law. Durst is seeking damages of at least $257,723, plus up to three times that amount and attorney’s fees and costs.

The Angelos firm has not yet responded to the complaint, court records show.