Spacesaver Systems v. Adam

98 A.3d 264 (2014)

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Spacesaver Systems v. Adam

Maryland Court of Appeals
98 A.3d 264 (2014)

  • Written by Robert Cane, JD

Facts

Amy Hamilton terminated Carla Adam’s (plaintiff) employment with Spacesaver Systems, Incorporated (Spacesaver) (defendant). Spacesaver, a mobile-storage-equipment company, was started by Jack and Alyce Schmidt. After 20 years in business, the Schmidts transferred ownership and control of Spacesaver to their three children, Adam, Hamilton, and David Craig. The three siblings were employed pursuant to employment agreements. The agreements permitted Spacesaver to terminate employees for cause. Craig resigned from Spacesaver not long after the siblings executed the employment agreements. Hamilton and Adam began to have disputes about job duties and compensation. Hamilton eventually sent Adam a letter terminating Adam’s employment. Adam filed an action for breach of contract against Spacesaver. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment, which the trial court denied. The trial judge found that the employment agreement created a lifetime contract and that Spacesaver had breached the contract. The trial judge awarded Adam damages for lost salary and commission. Spacesaver appealed to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, which affirmed in part, finding Adam was not an at-will employee, and reversed in part. The Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Adkins, J.)

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