Reset A A Font size: Print

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Michael CORITSIDIS, respondent, v. CONSUMER HOME MORTGAGE, INC., et al., appellants.

Decided: October 25, 1999

SONDRA MILLER, J.P., WILLIAM C. THOMPSON, GABRIEL M. KRAUSMAN, ANITA R. FLORIO and ROBERT W. SCHMIDT, JJ. Philips Nizer Benjamin Krim & Ballon, LLP, Garden City, N.Y. (Richard F. Harrison of counsel), for appellants. Coritsidis & Lambros, New York, N.Y. (Michael N. Coritsidis of counsel), for respondent.

In an action, inter alia, to recover damages for breach of a written employment agreement, the defendants appeal from an order of the Supreme Court, Queens County (Thomas, J.), dated June 3, 1998, which granted the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment on the first cause of action.

ORDERED that the order is reversed, on the law, with costs, and the motion is denied.

 The written employment agreement at issue permits the termination of the plaintiff's employment “for cause” on the ground that, inter alia, the plaintiff “acted in a manner contrary to the business practices” of the defendant corporation.   The employment agreement does not specify the conduct encompassed by this language.   Contrary to the implicit finding of the Supreme Court, we find this language to be ambiguous, and capable of being construed to include the type of conduct which the defendants allege was committed by the plaintiff (see, Amusement Business Underwriters v. American Intl. Group, 66 N.Y.2d 878, 880-881, 498 N.Y.S.2d 760, 489 N.E.2d 729;  see also, Bradford v. Weber, 138 A.D.2d 860, 862-863, 525 N.Y.S.2d 968;  Zunino v. Parodi Cigar Co., Inc., 186 App.Div. 506, 174 N.Y.S. 524).   The four sworn statements setting forth the complained-of conduct were sufficient to create an issue of fact for trial as to whether the defendants properly terminated the plaintiff's employment for cause.


Copied to clipboard