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Big Ass Fans, Owner Target Of Class-Action Suit Filed By Ex-Employee

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A class action lawsuit has been filed by a former employee of Big Ass Fans alleging that several workers were wrongly fired after the company was in negotiations to be sold.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Circuit Court by Isaac W. Fedyniak on behalf of numerous employees The suit names as defendants Big Ass Fans' parent company Delta T LLC and several affiliated companies, as well as Big Ass owner J. Carey Smith and other individuals.

Delta T LLC owned and operated Big Ass Fans and Big Ass Solutions. In October, the company announced it was being purchased by New York-based equity firm Lindsay Goldberg in a deal estimated at $500 million.

The lawsuit alleges that some employees were wrongfully terminated and were not able to retain their stock appreciation rights. It takes several years for employees to earn the rights to their stocks, and the lawsuit claims they were fired before they were able to receive those rights. It also states that the common stock was undervalued by the defendants.

One point of contention is that a company document states, "if the company is sold (or there is another change in control of the company as defined in the plan), all outstanding stock appreciation rights granted prior to the change in control will become immediately vested."

The suit alleges breach of contract, contractual breach of fiduciary duty and interference with contractual relations the owner of the business among other counts.

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