Universal Sues Former COO for Breach of Contract20 Sep, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has filed a lawsuit against its former COO alleging the executive abruptly left his job Sept. 2 without notice to take the CFO position at another company.
The suit, filed Sept. 13 in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that former COO Thomas Emery breached a written five-year employment contract with USHE through May 31, 2012, by accepting the CFO position with DineEquity, a Glendale, Calif.-based restaurant operator of IHOP and Applebee’s franchises.
Universal said the COO position is vital to its success, including new DVD/Blu-ray Disc release Bridesmaids and next month’s Fast Five, among others.
“The role of its COO is critical to the success of USHE’s business,” the complaint reads.
While DineEquity is not a competitor in home entertainment, Universal claimed Emery hid his pre-planned departure from the studio for months and used company resources to conduct due diligence on DineEquity, among other charges.
The studio seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.