Randall Carlson, Jr. appeals from the judgment denying his claim against his former employer, Superior Supply Company, for six months' salary, penalties and attorney's fees. We affirm.
Carlson went to work for Superior Supply Company ("Superior") in May of 1980 as a salesman. The duration of his employment was indefinite. After approximately two years and three months, he was promoted to executive vice-president. Superior's sole stockholder is NWS Supply Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Thomas Tilling, plc, a British company. In the spring of 1983 Carlson and other executives at Superior learned of an attempt by another corporation, BTR, plc, to take over Thomas Tilling. On May 3, 1983 Superior's executive committee authorized Superior to enter into agreements with certain of Superior's executives that regulated the termination of their employment. Carlson was not a member of Superior's executive committee, although he was a member of Superior's Board of Directors.
Carlson received an agreement dated May 3, 1983, and signed it on May 4, 1983. The agreement
Around June 9 of 1983 BTR acquired control of Thomas Tilling. In mid June of
Carlson continued to serve as executive vice-president of Superior until June of 1986, when he was terminated with no notice. Superior tendered him six weeks' severance pay along with his accrued vacation pay.
Carlson filed suit contending that under the May 3 agreement he was owed six months' salary together with statutory penalties and attorney's fees. The trial judge found that Superior validly cancelled the May 3 agreement, and that since Carlson's employment was one of indefinite term it was subject to termination at will.
Plaintiff appeals, urging that C.C. art. 2024 does not apply because the agreement was still in effect. For the excellent reasons
When Carlson was first employed by Superior, his employment was for an indefinite term and therefore terminable at the will of either the employer or the employee. C.C. art. 2747;
The initial question is whether this agreement was still in effect in June of 1986. It stated no definite term; it said only that the Board desired his services "now and in the future." While it made provisions for terminating Carlson's employment (six months' notice), it made no provision for terminating the agreement itself. The term of the agreement was of unspecified duration.
The trial court was correct in concluding that the May 3, 1983 agreement was terminated by Superior. Carlson's employment was one of indefinite term, subject to termination at will absent a specific agreement to the contrary. We find neither error of law nor manifest error of fact.
Finding no merit in appellant's assignment of error, we affirm. Costs of this appeal are assessed to the appellant.
It is not necessary for the Court to determine if the contract was enforceable at some prior time because the facts of the case make it clear that the contract was legally cancelled by Superior Supply Company. Article 2024 of the Louisiana Civil Code states that a contract of unspecified duration may be terminated at the will of either party by giving notice, reasonable in time and form to the other party. The contract in question was one of unspecified duration. Therefore, either party had the right to terminate it by giving notice, reasonable in time and form. Superior Supply Company took such action in the fall of 1984, as shown by Defendant's Exhibit 8. Plaintiff acknowledged at trial that he received a copy of Defendant's Exhibit 8 at that time.
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