Published: April 9, 2015
Motion to Strike Successful
(No Fiduciary Duty of Employer to Employee for Long-Term Incentive Plan)
Pastore & Dailey recently brought a successful motion to strike in Connecticut Superior Court against a former employee of a client (a major world-wide insurance company). The Court’s decision included a finding that the former employee failed to articulate facts sufficient to support a claim of a fiduciary duty by an employer to an employee for a long-term incentive plan (“LTIP”).
PROCEDURE – The former employee sued the client over a year ago for further payments pursuant to the LTIP (the employee had already received several years of payments under the LTIP). Pastore & Dailey first sent the former employee’s counsel a Request to Revise the Complaint, as we perceived the pleadings to be legally insufficient as written. Opposing counsel for the former employee objected to the Request to Revise, but the Court overruled all of same, agreeing with Pastore & Dailey that the former employee needed to revise the Complaint per Pastore & Dailey’s Request to Revise.
The former employee’s counsel then revised the Complaint, but Pastore & Dailey filed a Motion to Strike with the court, again alleging that the pleadings in the Complaint were legally insufficient, as revised. The parties had oral argument with the court a few months ago.
RESULT – Just recently, the court issued its decision, striking one of the counts per Pastore & Dailey’s motion, and indicating that another count is likely to fail, if Connecticut state law is found to apply.
In the count that was stricken, the Court stated that a mere “conclusory allegation” that the employer owed the employee a fiduciary duty under the LTIP was insufficient to overcome the Motion to Strike that count in the Complaint.
Regarding the count for an allegation of breach by the employer of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, the Court stated such claim would also fail, should the Court ultimately determine that Connecticut law is the applicable law in this case. (The Court stated that the choice of law question was not yet “ripe” at this stage of the proceedings. But both the client and the employee are domiciled in Connecticut.)
Only a breach of contract claim otherwise remains in the Complaint.