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Gruhlke v. Sioux Empire Federal Credit Union, Inc.

756 N.W.2d 399 (2008)

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Gruhlke v. Sioux Empire Federal Credit Union, Inc.

South Dakota Supreme Court

756 N.W.2d 399 (2008)

Facts

Becky Gruhlke (plaintiff) was employed by CU Mortgage Direct (CU) as a senior mortgage underwriter. Gruhlke’s employment contract with CU began in January of 2004 and was renewable annually. CU renewed Gruhlke’s contract in 2004 and 2005 but chose not to renew her contract in 2006. Gruhlke subsequently sued CU and CU’s parent company, Sioux Empire Federal Credit Union, Inc. (defendant), for wrongful discharge and breach of contract. Gruhlke also asserted a claim against CU’s chief operating officer, David Bednar (defendant), alleging wrongful interference with Gruhlke’s contract. Gruhlke alleged that Bednar advocated for CU to fire Gruhlke because Gruhlke refused to sign off on fraudulent mortgages originated by Bednar. However, Gruhlke never alleged that Bednar advocated for Gruhlke’s termination solely to serve Bednar’s own personal interests. The trial court dismissed Gruhlke’s claim against Bednar, and Gruhlke appealed to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Konenkamp, J.)

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