Court of Appeal dismisses appeal in employment dispute

August 30, 2016

Donaldson Travel Inc. v. Murphy, 2016 ONCA 649

On August 30, 2016, the Court of Appeal for Ontario released its decision on a dispute between the plaintiff Donaldson Travel Inc., and the respondents, Goliger’s TravelPlus, Goliger’s President and director Peter Van Der Heyden and one of Goliger’s new employees.

In earlier proceedings before the Superior Court of Justice, Donaldson claimed that Goliger’s induced the new employee (a former employee of Donaldson) to breach covenants of confidentiality and non-solicitation. The defendants were successful on a summary judgment motion to dismiss the action, with costs (Donaldson Travel Inc. v. Murphy et al 2016 ONSC 740).

Donaldson appealed the ruling arguing that the motion judge erred: i) in interpreting the restrictive covenant in the respondent former employee’s employment contract with the appellant as a non-competition clause as opposed to a non-solicitation clause and in therefore finding it unreasonable and unenforceable; and ii) in finding that the former employee had not misappropriated the appellant’s confidential information. Donaldson also appealed the motion judge’s cost award.

The Court of Appeal found no error in the motion judge’s findings, dismissed the appeal and awarded costs to Goliger’s.

Patricia Forte of Miller Thomson advised Goliger’s and Peter Van Der Heyden before the Court of Appeal and earlier before the Superior Court of Justice.