After three days of hearing, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel in Columbus, Ohio has found Merrill Lynch and its broker, Robert Rosen, jointly and severally liable to two elderly clients from Athens, Ohio, and ordered Merrill Lynch and its broker to pay $291,624 in compensatory damages. The claim asserted various causes of action including breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, breach of contract, fraud and the violation of Ohio Securities Laws. The gist of the claim was that Merrill Lynch and its broker, Robert Rosen, concentrated the Claimants investments in equities when, based on the Claimants age, health and position in life, they should have been in less risky investments such as bonds and cash. The Claimants were represented by Tim Van Eman from the law firm of Lamkin, Van Eman, Trimble & Dougherty, LLC, of Columbus, Ohio. (FINRA# 09-04362; Barbara B. Agranoff and Abby Lavelle, as Attorney in Fact for Barbara B. Agranoff, Individually and as Trustee and on behalf of her IRA and Joseph H. Agranoff, Individually and as Trustee on behalf of his IRA v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Incorporated and Robert M. Rosen).