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Former CEO sues Valeant over unpaid shares

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.'s former CEO Michael Pearson filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that it refused to pay him shares owed under his separation agreement, The Wall Street Journal reported March 27.

Pearson reportedly claims that Valeant did not pay him 580,676 shares and 2.5 million performance shares due under the separation agreement in November 2016. Valeant also reportedly owes $180,000 in unpaid consulting fees to the former executive.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, claims Valeant was contacted by Pearson's lawyers regarding the payment in January but Christina Ackermann, the company's executive vice president and general counsel, said in a letter that the board had decided against it.

Valeant decided not to make further payments due to its current circumstances, the WSJ reported, citing a statement made by a company spokesperson in the week of March 20.

Pearson left Valeant as CEO in May 2016 but remained with the company as a consultant until January 2017.