Donovan v. N.B. Publ. Co., (1996) 174 N.B.R.(2d) 23 (TD)

Judge:McLellan, J.
Court:Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick
Case Date:January 19, 1996
Jurisdiction:New Brunswick
Citations:(1996), 174 N.B.R.(2d) 23 (TD);17 CCEL (2d) 51;174 NBR (2d) 23;1996 CanLII 7253 (NB QB)
 
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Donovan v. N.B. Publ. Co. (1996), 174 N.B.R.(2d) 23 (TD);

    174 R.N.-B.(2e) 23; 444 A.P.R. 23

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

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William L. Donovan (plaintiff) v. New Brunswick Publishing Co. Ltd. (defendant)

(S/C/922/93)

Indexed As: Donovan v. New Brunswick Publishing Co.

New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench

Trial Division

Judicial District of Saint John

McLellan, J.

January 19, 1996.

Summary:

An employee sued his employer for dam­ages for wrongful dismissal.

The New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench, Trial Division, allowed the action.

Master and Servant - Topic 7559

Dismissal of employees - Grounds - Insolence - Donovan was the executive sports editor of a newspaper at an annual salary of $46,000 - Donovan had worked there for 36 years - Donovan solicited a part-time public relations job (i.e., $8,000 to $10,000) with a local hockey team - After the discussions, Donovan was not invited to a team reception and news con­ference - Donovan was upset and left a message for the team president regarding the invitation (i.e., to "shove it") - The team had just become a $25,000 per year advertising customer of the newspaper - The newspaper dismissed Donovan for, inter alia, insolence - Donovan sued for damages on the ground of wrongful dis­missal - The New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench, Trial Division, held that a single incident of insolence did not justify dismissal - See paragraphs 1 to 13.

Master and Servant - Topic 7561

Dismissal of employees - Grounds - Conflict of interest - Donovan was the executive sports editor of a newspaper - Donovan solicited a part-time public relations job (i.e., $8,000 to $10,000) with a local hockey team - Donovan had expressed strong opinions regarding the team in his columns - The team became a $25,000 per year advertising customer of the newspaper - The newspaper dismissed Donovan on the ground of, inter alia, conflict of interest - The newspaper claimed that Donovan was trying to get money from the team in exchange for better coverage - Donovan submitted that he wanted to leave the newspaper and was willing to take the part-time position in the hope that it would become full-time (which it did) - The New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench, Trial Division, held that there had been no conflict of interest - See para­graphs 14 to 22.

Master and Servant - Topic 8007

Dismissal without cause - Notice of dis­missal - Reasonable notice - Long service employees dismissed - Donovan was the executive sports editor of a newspaper at an annual salary of $46,000 - Donovan had worked there for 36 years - Donovan solicited a part-time public relations job (i.e., $8,000 to $10,000) with a local hockey team - Subsequently, the newspa­per dismissed Donovan on the grounds of insolence and conflict of inter­est - A year later, Donovan obtained a posi­tion with another newspaper at a lower salary - Donovan sued for damages for wrongful dis­missal - The New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench, Trial Division, ruled that Donovan was entitled to 18 months' notice less his earn­ings and pension benefits from his new job - See paragraphs 27 to 34.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. R.G. (1993), 166 N.B.R.(2d) 351; 425 A.P.R. 351 (Prov. Ct.), consd. [para. 7].

Carnaghan v. Bernard Freedman Insurance Ltd. (1982), 16 A.C.W.S.(2d) 32, folld. [para. 10].

Edwards v. Levy (1860), 2 F. & F. 94; 175 E.R. 974 (N.P.), consd. [para. 11].

Bardal v. Globe & Mail Ltd., [1960] O.W.N. 253; 24 D.L.R.(2d) 140 (H.C.), consd. [para. 30].

Locke v. Avco Financial Services Canada Ltd. (1987), 85 N.B.R.(2d) 93; 217 A.P.R. 93 (T.D.), consd. [para. 31].

Gordon v. Saint John Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. (1983), 47 N.B.R.(2d) 150; 124 A.P.R. 150 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 32].

Statutes Noticed:

Pension Benefits Act, S.N.B. 1987, c. P-5.1, sect. 26(1) [para. 26].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Levitt, Howard A., The Law of Dismissal in Canada (2nd Ed. 1992), p. 158 [para. 9].

Spears, Richard A., Slang and Euphemism Dictionary (Abridged Ed. 1982), p. 364 [para. 6].

Counsel:

John P. Barry, Q.C., and M. Shane Dugas, for the plaintiff;

Rodney J. Gillis, Q.C., for the defendant.

This case was heard on January 9 and 10, 1996, before McLellan, J., of the New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench, Trial Division, Judicial District of Saint John, who delivered the following judgment on January 19, 1996.

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