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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court decides one today

In Brennen Baker and Moisture Management v. Tremco Inc., and Rick Gibson, an 11-page, 5-0 opinion, Chief Justice Shepard writes:

Appellant Brennan Baker contends that constructive discharge falls within the public policy exception to Indiana's doctrine of employment at will. We conclude that a claim may rest on involuntary resignation, but only where the cause fits within the grounds recognized by our decisions on retaliatory discharge. Baker's claim does not. * * *

Although the parties raise numerous issues for review, we will only address three.[1] First, we consider whether a claim for constructive retaliatory discharge falls within Indiana‚Äüs public policy exception to the employment at will doctrine. Second, we consider whether the non competition agreement is unenforceable because Baker is actually competing with a subsidiary of Tremco. Third, we judge whether a statement from the former supervisor was slanderous per se so as to create an actionable defamation claim. * * *

We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
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[1] We summarily affirm the Court of Appeals disposition of the claims for slander about mental illness as slander per quod, blacklisting statute, and tortious interference with contract. Ind. App. Rule 58(A).

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 1, 2009 02:50 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions