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Harris v. Digital Pulse Pty. Ltd.
New South Wales Court of Appeal
NSWCA 10 (2003)
Digital Pulse (plaintiff) was an information-technology business that included web design. Harris and Eden (defendants) were employed by Digital Pulse. During their employment, Harris and Eden also secretly worked for their own business doing the same work and obtained projects from Digital Pulse’s clients. Digital Pulse discovered this and terminated Harris and Eden. Subsequently, Digital Pulse sued Harris and Eden, asserting a breach of fiduciary duty. The trial court ruled in favor of Digital Pulse and awarded Digital Pulse, at its election, either the profit it would have made for the secret work or an account of profits from Harris and Eden and their company. The trial court also awarded Digital Pulse exemplary or punitive damages of $10,000 each from Harris and Eden. Harris and Eden appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Heydon, J.)
Concurrence (Spigelman, C.J.)
Dissent (Mason, J.)
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