Employee Entitled To New Trial After Court Improperly Ruled He Was Terminable At Will

Stillwell v. The Salvation Army, 167 Cal. App. 4th 360 (2008)

Arthur Stillwell sued The Salvation Army (“TSA”) for breach of an implied agreement to terminate his employment only for good cause. The jury found that TSA breached an implied agreement with Stillwell and awarded him more than $155,000 – but it also determined that Stillwell had executed an enforceable agreement that rendered his employment terminable at will. Both parties conceded on appeal that the jury’s verdicts were inconsistent. The Court of Appeal held the trial court had erred in choosing as a matter of law one of the jury’s inconsistent verdicts over the other and ordered, instead, that a new trial be held.