Roehm, Wal-Mart End Legal War

NEW YORK Former Wal-Mart marketing exec Julie Roehm said she would not pursue her wrongful termination lawsuit against the company, citing the financial costs involved. Now that Roehm has said she would not refile her suit, Wal-Mart said it would no longer pursue its litigation against her.

In August, a Michigan state judge threw out the case, filed there in December, saying the proper jurisdiction was Arkansas, headquarters of the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer. In March, Wal-Mart filed a counterclaim.

In a statement, Roehm said she is not receiving any money or compensation to settle her complaint to recover severance outlined in her contract.

“I thought that a settlement agreement would be reached within a few weeks. Instead, the lawsuit has expanded into other issues, and has become more difficult and financially draining than I ever imagined,” Roehm said in her statement.

In addition to the costs involved, Roehm acknowledged that the decision reflects the fact that certain allegations she made against Minnesota businessman Irwin Jacobs and Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott were untrue. In May, Roehm had filed a counterclaim, alleging that Scott received “preferential prices” on “a number of yachts” and “a large pink diamond for his wife” from Jacobs, whose Jacobs Trading Co. has exclusive rights to buy unsold Wal-Mart merchandise. Roehm alleged that Scott violated Wal-Mart’s ethics policy. Wal-Mart had fired Roehm after it accused her of accepting gifts from DraftFCB during an agency review that later resulted in the agency’s procurement of the business. Jacobs filed a defamation suit in response, a complaint he is now withdrawing.

Sources said Roehm, who is still living in Bentonville, originally filed her suit believing the employment laws were more favorable in Michigan, her former home state. Since her dismissal, she has been doing consulting and “weighing offers” for other full-time employment, sources said.