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First Bancshares, Inc. Announces Results of Litigation.

MOUNTAIN GROVE, Mo. -- First Bancshares, Inc. ("Company") (NASDAQ - FstBksh: FBSI), the holding company for First Home Savings Bank ("Bank"), announced that on January 21, 2011 a jury verdict was entered against the Company and the Bank in the Circuit Court of Ozark County, Missouri, following a jury trial in a claim made by a former employee of the Bank relating to her termination from the Bank in 2007. The former employee claimed that the Bank wrongfully terminated her as a result of her reporting to superiors and Board members what she believed to be illegal activities of two former presidents of the Bank. This alleged cause of action in Missouri is commonly known as a whistleblower lawsuit. Protection for whistleblowers has been carved out as a protected class of employees who, as with certain other classes, such as gender, age, and race for example, cannot be terminated as a result of reporting alleged illegal activities. The jury verdict was against the Bank for $182,000 in compensatory damages (lost wages) and for punitive damages in the amount of $235,000. The Bank believes that the verdict relating to the alleged reporting by the former employee of illegal activities is contrary to the facts and the law and the Bank intends to file post-trial motions including a motion for a new trial and other relief.

First Bancshares, Inc. is the holding company for First Home Savings Bank, a FDIC-insured savings bank chartered by the State of Missouri that conducts business from its home office in Mountain Grove, Missouri, and ten full service offices in Marshfield, Ava, Gainesville, Sparta, Springfield, Theodosia, Crane, Galena, Kissee Mills and Rockaway Beach, Missouri.

The Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, First Home Savings Bank and SCMG, Inc. may from time to time make written or oral "forward-looking statements," including statements contained in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in its reports to stockholders, and in other communications by the Company, which are made in good faith by the Company pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

These forward-looking statements include statements with respect to the Company's beliefs, expectations, estimates and intentions that are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, and are subject to change based on various factors, some of which are beyond the Company's control. Such statements address the following subjects: future operating results; customer growth and retention; loan and other product demand; earnings growth and expectations; new products and services; credit quality and adequacy of reserves; results of examinations by our bank regulators, our compliance with the Orders to Cease and Desist, technology, and our employees. The following factors, among others, could cause the Company's financial performance to differ materially from the expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements: the strength of the United States economy in general and the strength of the local economies in which the Company conducts operations; the effects of, and changes in, trade, monetary, and fiscal policies and laws, including interest rate policies of the Federal Reserve Board; inflation, interest rate, market, and monetary fluctuations; the timely development and acceptance of new products and services of the Company and the perceived overall value of these products and services by users; the impact of changes in financial services' laws and regulations; technological changes; acquisitions; changes in consumer spending and savings habits, the results of litigation; and the success of the Company at managing and collecting assets of borrowers in default and managing the risks of the foregoing.

The foregoing list of factors is not exclusive. Additional discussion of factors affecting the Company's business and prospects is contained in the Company's periodic filings with the SEC. The Company does not undertake, and expressly disclaims any intent or obligation, to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by or on behalf of the Company.
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Publication:Business Wire
Article Type:Financial report
Date:Jan 27, 2011
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