EventMonitor, Inc. v. LenessAnnotate this Case
EventMonitor, Inc. terminated the employment of Anthony Leness, characterizing the termination as “without cause.” After discovering that Leness had copies the data on a company laptop computer EventMonitor retroactively characterized the termination as having been for cause and stopped paying Leness any severance payments. EventMonitor filed suit against Leness, alleging breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and breach of fiduciary duty. Leness counterclaimed for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and violations of the Wage Act. A superior court judge entered judgment for Leness on EventMonitor’s claims and Leness’s counterclaims, finding that Leness had not engaged in defalcation of EventMonitor’s assets and had not committed a material breach of the employment contract, and thus that his termination could not have been for cause. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial judge correctly found that Leness did not commit a material breach of the employment contract and did not engage in defalcation of company assets, and therefore, Leness committed no act giving rise to a termination for cause; and (2) the trial judge correctly concluded that Leness was entitled to severance payments under the terms of the contract.