Summary Judgment Granted on Wrongful Dismissal Claim

Often times, if you are unable obtain a resolution prior to the commencement of civil legal proceedings, you have to proceed to trial to receive your entitlements when your employment has been terminated without cause.  In an Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision (Poole v. Whirlpool Corporation), Justice Hoy granted summary judgment in favour of a former senior executive of Whirlpool Corporation who was employed with the company for about 17 years and two months at the time his employment was terminated.

The main issues on the summary judgment motion were the appropriate notice period in the circumstances; whether the former employee mitigated his losses; what, if any, bonuses the former employee is entitled to during the notice period; and, whether there was sufficient evidence to grant lost employee benefits during the notice period.

Hoy J. was satisfied that there was no genuine issue requiring a trial since there was no dispute as to the material facts, namely the former employee’s age, length of service, level of salary, bonuses and other benefits received, and the character of his employment.  After taking into consideration these factors, Hoy J. awarded 19 months reasonable notice; compensation for monthly bonuses throughout the entire notice period; and compensation for benefits lost during the notice period. Further, Hoy J. was not satisfied that the former employee has not taken reasonable steps to mitigate his damages and thus the notice period was not reduced.

In the appropriate cases, a former employee who has been dismissed without cause may bring a motion for summary judgment rather than having to resort to a lengthy and expensive trial.  Ultimately, if one is successful, he/she will be able to achieve an expeditious, effective and cost efficient result.

Are you unclear whether your case is appropriate for a motion for summary judgment.  If so, please feel free to contact us to assist you in determining whether a summary judgment motion is appropriate for you.

Prepared by Olanyi Parsons, B.A. (Hons.) LL.B.

For a consultation, please feel free to contact Olanyi Parsons Law.

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