Cour overturns summary judgment for employee where contract language not clear
Michael Karibian sued the Village Green Management Co. and related defendants, arguing that he was discharged in violation of his employment contract. The Oakland County Circuit Court Judge believed the case was so clear he granted summary disposition to Karibian in the amount of $108,000.00. The employer appealed and the Court of Appeals sent the case back for a trial by the jury. The Court concluded that resolving the parties' dispute required an analysis of the intent of the phrase "any standard of conduct" in the employment contract. While the Plaintiff argued that unsatisfactory performance was not one of the "standards of conduct" which would justify termination for cause, the Defendants argued it was: the Court of Appeals concluded that resolving this disagreement was a question of fact to be decided by the "trier-of-fact" after a full analysis of the evidence.