Appellants, school district, board of education, and board member, sought review of a judgment from the Superior Court of Alameda County (California) in favor of respondent board employee in his wrongful termination action. Appellants contended that tort damages for emotional distress that arose out of the breach of the implied contractual covenants did not apply to an employment case and that governmental immunity barred the action.
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Respondent board employee filed a wrongful termination action against appellants, school district, board of education, and board member. Respondent claimed that he was terminated because he refused to refer board business to appellant board member’s friends. Judgment was entered for respondent. The court affirmed the judgment and held that respondent was not required to strictly comply with, but substantially comply with Cal. Gov’t Code § 905 when he filed his notice of claim with appellants. The court held that governmental immunity did not apply because appellant board member rendered his decision to terminate respondent without first considering the advantages and consequences of termination. The court held that the jury’s special verdict on damages was proper. The court stated that the emotional distress damage award, which was based on two causes of action, did not require a retrial, because the intentional interference with a contract claim applied to the case even though the implied convenants claim did not apply. The court found that the evidence was sufficient to support the finding that there was an interference.
The court affirmed the judgment for respondent board employee in his wrongful termination action against appellants, school district, board of education, and board member. The court held that governmental immunity did not bar respondent’s action and that the jury’s special verdict on damages was proper although one of the claims it was based on was improperly submitted.