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Howard Levitt: Former CEO Ordered to Pay Company $500,000 in Wrongful Dismissal Suit Gone Wrong

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Former CEO Ordered to Pay Company $500,000 in Wrongful Dismissal Suit Gone Wrong

A recent case before the Alberta Court of King's Bench serves as a cautionary tale for employees contemplating wrongful dismissal claims. In the case of Breen vs. Foremost Industries Ltd., the court not only rejected the employee's claim but also ordered him to pay back funds and damages to his former employer. The employee, Patrick Breen, had been terminated for cause in 2014 after allegations of serious misconduct. Despite suing for wrongful dismissal, the court concluded that the employer had just cause for the termination and that Breen had breached his fiduciary duties. The court found that Breen had abused his position as CEO, exceeding spending limits and engaging in unauthorized transactions. Additionally, Breen was found to have obtained gifts through embezzlement or misappropriation. As a result, Breen was held personally liable for over $500,000, including punitive damages. This case serves as a reminder to employees to carefully consider the consequences of their actions before pursuing legal action, and it encourages employers to assert their rights when faced with misconduct.

Implications of the Breen vs. Foremost Industries Ltd. Case for New Businesses

The recent case of Breen vs. Foremost Industries Ltd. serves as a significant lesson for new businesses. The court's decision to hold the former CEO, Patrick Breen, personally liable for over $500,000 in damages for wrongful dismissal and breach of fiduciary duties sends a clear message about the importance of ethical conduct in business leadership.

Setting Ethical Standards

The case underscores the need for new businesses to set and enforce high ethical standards. It emphasizes the importance of clear guidelines regarding spending limits and authorized transactions, and the potential consequences of violating these standards.

Protecting the Business

The court's decision also highlights the importance of protecting the business against misconduct. New businesses should not shy away from asserting their rights when faced with misconduct, as this can safeguard the company's financial health and reputation.
Caution for Employees
Lastly, the case serves as a cautionary tale for employees, reminding them to consider the consequences of their actions. It encourages transparency and integrity, and warns of the potential personal liability and reputational damage that can result from unethical behavior. In conclusion, the Breen vs. Foremost Industries Ltd. case offers valuable insights for new businesses on the importance of ethical conduct, the need to protect the business, and the potential consequences of employee misconduct.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/fp-work/wrongful-dismissal-suit-gone-wrong-ex-ceo-pay-500000
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