A fired Merrill financial advisor paid $7,500 to a smoothie store employee after video showed him throwing a drink at her and calling her an 'immigrant loser'
- An ex-Merrill Lynch staffer has reached a $7,500 settlement over an altercation in a smoothie store.
- He went viral earlier this year for throwing a smoothie at an employee and making a racist comment.
A former financial advisor at Merrill Lynch has reached a $7,500 settlement after he went viral earlier this year for throwing a drink at a smoothie-store employee and making a racist comment.
Police in Fairfield, Connecticut said in January that James Iannazzo had yelled insults at workers at a branch of Robeks.
According to police, Iannazzo "made comments toward an employee referencing their immigration status" after his son was hospitalized with an allergic reaction, believed to be from drinking a smoothie from the store that contained peanut butter. Merrill fired him after the incident.
An employee at the smoothie store filed a lawsuit against Iannazzo, saying that he had called her a "fucking immigrant loser" and thrown a smoothie at her.
Court filings show that the case was resolved in early August and the plaintiff withdrew the case on Tuesday. Iannazzo's spokesperson told Insider: "The only civil litigation against Mr. Iannazzo was settled for a token payment of $7,500."
"Mr. Iannazzo will always regret his momentary loss of temper at the time of his son's medical emergency, and this outcome clearly shows the weakness of the case attempted against him," the spokesperson added.
The employee's lawyer and representative for Bank of America, which owns Merill, didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, made outside of regular working hours.
Fairfield police said that after his son was hospitalized, Iannazzo returned to the store where he "confronted employees, yelling at them and demanding to know who had made the smoothie which contained peanuts, causing his child's allergic reaction."
Police said that when the employees could not provide an answer, Iannazzo became "irate," cursing at them and throwing a drink at one of them, hitting their shoulder. He also tried to enter an employee-only area of the store and repeatedly ignored staff requests to leave, according to the police statement.
The employee's lawsuit said that Iannazzo's demeanor was "extremely agitated and threatening."
The viral TikTok video shows a man calling Robeks store employees "stupid fucking ignorant high-school kids" and referring to one as a "fucking immigrant loser."
Police said that Iannazzo left the scene before officers arrived but was identified shortly after and turned himself in without incident, saying that he had returned to the store because he was upset about his son's severe allergic reaction to the drink. Store staff told the police that Iannazzo didn't tell them about the peanut allergy and had only asked that the drink didn't include peanut butter.
Iannazzo was arrested and charged with intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the second degree, breach of peace in the second degree, and criminal trespass in the first degree. The Connecticut Post reported that Iannazzo had pleaded not guilty to the charges, was placed on probation, and was ordered to make a $500 donation to charity.
In 2021, Forbes ranked Iannazzo among the 25 best-in-state high-net-worth advisors for Connecticut.
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