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Marshall Durbin Food Corp. v. Baker

909 So.2d 1267 (2005)

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Marshall Durbin Food Corp. v. Baker

Mississippi Court of Appeals

909 So.2d 1267 (2005)

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Facts

Bill Baker (plaintiff) was a high-level employee of the Marshall Durbin Food Corporation (the Company) (defendant). After the Company experienced financial difficulty there was great concern that many good employees would seek employment elsewhere. Baker went to the owner, Marshall Durbin, Jr., to help financially secure several top management employees, including himself. On behalf of the Company, Durbin, Jr. offered an “agreement of termination and/or early retirement” to Baker and others that provided a specified amount of compensation for five years once a triggering event occurred. One of the triggers was the death or incapacity of Durbin, Jr. After Durbin, Jr. was diagnosed with cancer, Baker assumed responsibility as the Company’s President. Shortly thereafter, a court order declared Durbin, Jr. incapacitated. After the Company’s Board of Directors refused to honor the agreement signed by Baker and Durbin, Baker filed suit. The trial court held the contract to be valid and ordered the Company to pay Baker according to the terms of the contract. The Company appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Barnes, J.)

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