How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
75100385
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

If a former employee of a company, resigned and began working

Resolved Question:

If a former employee of a company, resigned and began working for him self, was subsequently in the process of being sued, alleging he had taken away some of their customers, where the amount he was being sued was £300K, when he'd only earned as a self employed contractor £16K was completely dis-proportionate, which drove him to suicide. Can the former employee's family now sue the former employee in any form
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Did the person suing do anything unlawful please?

Customer:

Hi Alex, that I don't know without finding more about it myself from his wife, it was just the principle, the guy in question was called Tony, a friend/ex work colleague, it only happened 2 weeks ago, the funeral was on Thursday. But I know he worked for the company for 8 years (I'd done work for them as well about 12 years ago), travelled a lot around the world with the job, the company provides Planned Maintenance Software for the Marine Industry, Tony helped develope the software using his knowledeg as a Marine Engineer. Because of the amount of travelling, he asked if he could work from home 2 days a week when not travelling to ships, becasue the office re-located to a different area and he was fed up with the commute to work...this was denied.....so after argueing his case without success, he resigned. He then set up a company, where he worked self employed, direct for companies, who he'd work for in the past, doing the work required to populate/input information, ship specific into the Planned Maintenance Software, where the Software was still supplied by his former Company. He resined from the company in January 2014, so had been working for himself for about 9 months. His former company, issued a law suit against him saying he had taken some of their customers and were claiming £300K. He contacted his former employer verbally over the law suit and said he couldn't see how he'd done anything wrong, (his customers were known to him, some ex work colleagues in companies he'd worked at previously and asked him to do the work for them) and advised that he'd only earned £16K since he'd started and that if they wanted, he was prepared to give them all the money he'd earned and would stop doing it. They said no they wanted more. He was 55 had paid off his mortgage, had a pension waiting in the wings.....but I think he felt that he was in danger of losing everything he'd worked for, house etc and so to protect his wife and daughter he may have felt his only recourse was to committ Suicide, which he did on 1st October 2014. I think he was badly treated by his former employer and what they did was completely dis-proportionate to the action they took, which led him due to the pressure they must have put him under because of the law suit, feeling there was no way out/or an alternative solution in his mind, he decided to take his own life. So the question is, can his wife now make a claim against his former company, or at least give them a bit of their own medicine

Alex Watts :

Thank you. I am sorry to hear of the loss.

Alex Watts :

But by someone issuing proceedings in Court and then not refusing to withdraw it, is not enough for the family to be able to sue the employer.

Alex Watts :

Having listen and read to what you have said I am sorry to say that there is no course of action against the former employer

Alex Watts :

You can not stop someone from bringing a claim against someone else and then refusing to step down or settle.

Alex Watts :

It then becomes a matter for the Judge.

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

OK, understood....as the adage goes......what goes around, comes around.....there were about 100 people who turned up for his funeral, a lot of ex colleagues/senior managers from companies he'd worked for in the marine industry, some who he was currently working with and they all know what happened.....so as far as they are concerned, it doesn't bode well for his former company

Alex Watts :

Indeed. I am sorry.

Alex Watts :

Can I help with anything else today?

Ash and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you