Multiple former employees of GlobalHue, the multicultural agency that closed in 2016 amid a series of lawsuits filed against founder, CEO and former NFL star Don Coleman, say they have not received any of the money awarded to them in a six-figure 2018 settlement.
In August 2016, we reported that 10 onetime staffers filed a class action suit against Coleman in Manhattan federal court after going more than three months without pay. At the time, Coleman attributed that gap to a “dispute” with his own bank. He then claimed everyone would be paid soon and that none of his agency’s offices would be closing.
Less than two months later, Manhattan’s Filosa Law Firm filed suit. GlobalHue’s offices in New York and Detroit later closed.
More than a year after the suit was filed, Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker ordered Coleman to pay $231,250 plus interest, with that amount consisting of a $185,000 settlement and a $45,350 penalty over a failure to pay the previous total. In late 2017, the judge had granted a motion to reopen that case in order to enforce the earlier settlement.
Today Gregory Filosa, head of the law firm that represented those 10 employees, told AgencySpy, “I can confirm that none of my clients have been paid.” We also reached out to several of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, none of whom agreed to comment on the record.
Coleman faces ongoing legal and financial challenges outside the GlobalHue business. The board of his condo at 45 Park Avenue filed suit against him early last year, claiming that he owed just under $29,000 in common charges and late fees, and the IRS later issued a federal tax lien on the property that amounted to $470,484.44 as of May, 2018.
When reached for comment, Coleman wrote that “all involved in lawsuit were paid in full last month” and referred to a Michigan-based lawyer who later stated that he is Coleman’s court-appointed receiver in a case involving Comerica Bank that is not related to the class-action case.
That matter stemmed from Walmart Stores, Inc. v. Don Coleman Advertising Inc. In mid-2017, Walmart, which was a former client of GlobalHue, filed an interpleader complaint “to avoid multiple liability and unnecessary suits and costs” over $281,250 owed to the shuttered shop. The retail giant had placed the money with the bank because the agency was no longer in business, and its suit sought to force all involved parties to resolve the dispute.
Two days ago, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division issued a judgment sending that money to Comerica Bank, which was then told to pay $15,000 to production company Ringside Creative.
When asked for clarity regarding the individuals behind the New York suit, Coleman wrote, “You should have their attorney give you more details. I’m no longer involved.”