NY civil trial begins for billionaire Perelman

AP News
Posted: Jan 24, 2012 2:35 AM
NY civil trial begins for billionaire Perelman

Jury selection is set to start Tuesday at a trial resulting from a $20 million civil dispute between billionaire Ronald Perelman and a one-time close friend and business partner.

The jury will be asked to decide the merits of claims Donald Drapkin brought against Perelman in 2009 after he left Perelman's company to run a hedge fund. He said he did not receive roughly $20 million in compensation that he was promised. Perelman countersued, saying Drapkin abused the health care plan he was given when he left and failed to return some documents.

The trial is unusual because it involves a relatively small amount of money given the net worth of the men involved in the dispute. Civil disputes of this sort frequently are settled prior to trial.