Sharples performance by the obvious method alleged would have been detected by the Sharples technicians. Furthermore, Silvio Garro's accusation is incongruent in view of his failure to report the falsifications of Sullivan, of which he admittedly had knowledge. Finally, despite this failure to report and despite his part in the alleged falsification, Silvio Garro was promoted to become a member of supervision after plaintiff's discharge.
From the foregoing and in view of plaintiff's credible testimony, this court is not convinced that Mr. Sawyer falsified the tests or ordered that they be falsified. I have examined the testimony and exhibits with great care to determine what possible motive plaintiff could have had for falsifying the Sharples runs. I find none. Defendant offers as a motive the strong antipathy and jealousy between plaintiff and Sullivan, but defendant does not show how falsification and failure of the Sharples tests would inure to plaintiff's favor or to Sullivan's detriment. Defendant offers as an alternative motive plaintiff's desire to show that 'his method of refining, an improvement in the well-known 'Batch' method, was so far superior to the Sharples method that it would prove beneficial to him and result in a promotion in defendant's organization.' But there are pertinent fallacies in defendant's hypothesis. Firstly, the batch method was not shown to be plaintiff's at all. Secondly, plaintiff himself recommended the Sharples method as a superior process and made valuable suggestions as to its employment. Thirdly, success of the Sharples process would make plaintiff's job as supervisor much easier than under the batch system. Reason or emotion direct the actions of men. Any motivation upon plaintiff, such as to induce the alleged misconduct, is neither apparent, impliable, nor proven. Rather than plaintiff's misconduct, a more likely reason for his discharge seems apparent. Once defendant hired Preston in May 1950 to replace plaintiff as superintendent of edible production, it had the burden of paying two men $ 15,000 a year for duplicate skills. Defendant thereupon with undue haste discharged plaintiff, either failing to credit plaintiff with sufficient perseverance to enforce his legal rights or failing to ascertain beforehand their rights and obligations under the contract.
We come now to the circumstances of plaintiff's discharge. Preston, Kalustian, and Faulkner testified that during the course of investigation of quarrels between plaintiff and Sullivan they learned from the Garro brothers and one Andrew Blaho that plaintiff has falsified or ordered falsification of the Sharples run. They did not consult Sawyer regarding these accusations by his subordinates. On the morning of July 27, 1950, they summoned plaintiff to Faulkner's office. There Faulkner, not plaintiff's superior, related the accusations to plaintiff in the presence of Kalustian and Preston. They gave plaintiff the alternative of resigning or being fired. Plaintiff asked Kalustian if he ever had reason to be suspicious of plaintiff's performance or integrity and was answered in the negative. Plaintiff asked to be permitted to see the Garro brothers about the accusations privately but was denied the opportunity. Plaintiff then asked to see Mr. Drew but was denied that opportunity. Faulkner testified specifically that when Sawyer asked to see Drew, he, Faulkner, stepped into Drew's office to relay the request but that Drew refused to see Sawyer. Mr. Drew testified that he 'certainly did not' refuse to see plaintiff; that no one relayed plaintiff's request to him and stated that if he had known of plaintiff's desire to see him he would have complied. Mr. Drew's testimony on this point was straightforward and highly credible.
This important inconsistency, together with all of the other facts reviewed above, leads this court to believe that the plaintiff was unfairly accused of and found guilty of misconduct and summarily discharged without good cause. Defendant has not borne the burden of justifying the discharge, rather, it is my distinct conclusion that the discharge was arbitrary.
Plaintiff's proof of damages, which were not contested, were:
(a) Expenses in seeking employment, $ 2,511.70 (T- 65- 66);
(b) Salary loss in 1950, $ 6,250.00 (T- 67);
(c) Salary loss in 1951, $ 9,912.52 (T- 67);
(d) Loss in salary in 1952 up to September, $ 5,306.66 (T- 68);
(e) Loss in salary, September through December 1952, $ 2,213.33 (T- 68);
(f) Loss in salary, balance of contract period, $ 6,640.00 (T- 69); and
(g) Total of loss in salary and expenses, $ 32,834.21 (T- 69).
Plaintiff will be allowed that amount with interest at three per cent on items (b), (c), (d), and (e) through April 7, 1953, with costs.
An order may be submitted in conformity with the opinion herein expressed.
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