Falwell Jr. sues Liberty for over $8.5M in retirement benefits
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Former Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. has filed a lawsuit in United States District Court against the school, claiming he is owed $8,579,727.58 in retirement benefits.
Falwell was due to receive these payments September 1, 2022, according to the filing.
“Mr. Falwell is entitled to receive the balance of the Account attributed to credits made in a single lump-sum payment on the first of the month following the earliest to occur of the following: Mr. Falwell’s death, disability, or the second anniversary of Mr. Falwell’s termination of employment with Liberty for any reason other than Cause (as defined in the 2019 Employment Agreement),” according to court documents obtained by WDBJ7.
The lawsuit alleges Liberty is aware and has admitted on multiple occasions the amount was due Falwell September 1, 2022. One example describes that a counsel for Liberty, in a July 6, 2022, e-mail acknowledged that the payment “is presently eligible for distribution as of September 1.”
Liberty, in an effort to withhold the payment, reserved August 22, 2022, from the Circuit Court for the City of Lynchburg to hear an argument on Liberty’s announced (but never filed) motion for injunctive relief. Liberty did not file its motion for injunctive relief and a hearing was never held.
A university spokesperson issued the following response to this new filing: “This claim is part of a larger dispute currently pending in state court. The University will defend the new action on the same grounds it has already pled on the record in the state case. Liberty is confident it is not legally required to pay these funds and will file the appropriate responses with the federal court.”
Falwell resigned August 24, 2020.
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