Fleet manager's resignation ruled involuntary, judge orders damages paid

A Ford store in St. John's, Nfld., is on the hook for damages for the involuntary resignation of its commercial-fleet manager.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal upheld a $72,863 trial judgment in favour of Ralph Evans, who worked at Avalon Ford from 1997 to 2010, when he quit after being chastised over an inventory-control error for which he took responsibility. Evans “suffered a medically diagnosed acute stress reaction” after criticism by the store’s general sales manager and owner, the decision said.

Although Evans walked off the job after a “tense meeting,” handed in his keys and said, “I’m done,” the alleged resignation was “equivocal,” and Avalon “could not reasonably conclude Evans had voluntarily resigned,” the court said.

It said Avalon Ford owed Evans “general obligations of good faith and fair dealing” that included giving him time to withdraw the resignation.


A small claims court judge in Richmond Hill, Ont., has ordered a used-car store to reimburse a purchaser $2,251 for repair costs.

In November 2013, a salesman for Autodrive of Canada Corp. told Karen MacDowell that the

2003 Mazda Protege 5 she was interested in was certified and “e-tested with a warranty,” but it died the day after. Inspections found serious problems, including “ineffective brakes” and rust holes that made it unsafe.

Due to mistrust, MacDowell chose to have repairs done elsewhere, the decision said. She sued after the store refused to reimburse her.

Deputy Judge Abraham Davis said the store represented the Protege as “roadworthy, mechanically sound or maintained at a guaranteed level of quality.”

He said the car’s safety standards certificate was misleading or false and the required pre-sale inspection had not been performed.

You can reach Eric Freedman at



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