Glover v BLN Ltd

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date18 December 1973
Date18 December 1973
Docket Number[1966. No. 1844 P.]
CourtSupreme Court
(S.C.)
Glover
and
B.L.N. Ltd

Alleged misconduct - Post of technical director held upon terms of contract - Appointment terminable by company in event of misconduct being established in opinion of board of directors - Misconduct established - Summary dismissal - No notice given of charges of misconduct - Natural justice - Breach of implied term - Damages for wrongful dismissal.

By an agreement dated the 10th January, 1964, a holding company and its three subsidiaries appointed the plaintiff to be technical director of the four companies for a period of five years at an agreed salary, subject to termination in accordance with clause 12 (c) thereof. That clause provided that the plaintiff's appointment might be terminated, without giving rise to compensation, if he should be guilty of any serious misconduct or serious neglect in the performance of his duties which, in the unanimous opinion of the board of directors of the holding company, affected injuriously the business or property of the holding company or of any of the subsidiaries. On the 5th July, 1966, having considered several serious complaints made against the plaintiff, the board of the holding company found unanimously that the plaintiff had been guilty of serious misconduct and neglect affecting the business of one of the subsidiaries, and terminated the plaintiff's appointment as technical director. On the 13th July, 1966, each of the subsidiaries terminated the said appointment. The plaintiff was not given any prior notice of the complaints made against him. In an action brought by the plaintiff in the High Court in which he claimed damages from the four companies for wrongful dismissal and breach of contract, it was Held, by Kenny J., in deciding the issue of liability for damages, 1, that the decision of the board of the holding company was amenable to review by the court. Diggle v. Ogston Motor Co.UNK (1915) 84 L.J.K.B. 2165 not approved. 2. That, in making their decision, the board of the holding company could only take into account the matters known on the 5th July, 1966. Carvill v. Irish Industrial Bank Ltd.IR [1968] I.R. 325 applied. 3. That the evidence of the matters known to the board of the holding company on that date established that the plaintiff had been guilty of serious misconduct and neglect affecting injuriously the business of one...

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