On April 21st, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an application for leave to appeal filed by Premier Tech Ltée and Gestion Bernard Bélanger against a judgment of the Québec Court of Appeal rendered on July 9, 2015 in Premier Tech et al. v. Dollo (2015 QCCA 1159). The Québec Court of Appeal had affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court rendered in Dollo v. Premier Tech et al., 2013 QCCS 6100.
The Plaintiff, Christian Dollo, the former President of Premier Tech’s main subsidiary, brought an action based on the oppression remedy to compel Premier Tech to permit him to exercise his stock options that had vested during the course of his employment and to force Premier Tech’s controlling shareholder to purchase the resulting shares at their value at the time of the termination of Mr. Dollo’s employment. Both the Court of Appeal and the Superior Court came to the conclusion that Mr. Dollo was a complainant within the meaning of the Canada Business Corporations Act and that Premier Tech’s refusal to let Mr. Dollo exercise the options was an abuse of his rights on the part of Premier Tech and also on the part of its controlling shareholder. The courts also came to the conclusion that the directors of Premier Tech had neglected their duties when they had refused to let Mr. Dollo exercise the options.
Mr. Dollo will now be able to recover the full value of his options (close to $2 million) as well as accrued interest ordered by the Court of Appeal as the defendants had not complied with the judgment of the Superior Court.