New York, NY (December 12, 2012) – Venable attorneys Michael Volpe and Nicholas Reiter won dismissal of an approximately half-million dollar breach of contract claim today on behalf of their client, Watson Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich ("Watson Enterprises"). Watson Enterprises previously operated a luxury car dealership in Greenwich, Connecticut. The four-day bench trial took place before U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York.
From 2005-2010, Watson Enterprises employed the Plaintiff, Emel Dilek, in its marketing department. At the beginning of Ms. Dilek's employment, Watson Enterprises learned that Ms. Dilek and the company's Chief Operating Officer and a co-owner in the business, Ronald Pecunies, were engaged in a romantic relationship. Unbeknownst to Watson Enterprises, however, Mr. Pecunies gave Ms. Dilek a four-year employment contract in 2009 after he was diagnosed with cancer. Pecunies died in May 2010 and Watson Enterprises terminated Ms. Dilek's employment in August 2010 pursuant to the company's at-will employment policy. Ms. Dilek later sued Watson Enterprises for her salary and benefits purportedly owed under the balance of the four-year term of the alleged contract.
Judge Oetken determined that, despite his role within the Company, Mr. Pecunies lacked both actual and apparent authority to offer Ms. Dilek the alleged employment contract. Accordingly, Judge Oetken rendered a verdict in favor of Watson Enterprises and ordered the Complaint dismissed in its entirety with prejudice.
Mr. Volpe is a partner and Mr. Reiter is an associate in Venable’s New York office.
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