Procedural Posture

Defendant employers appealed a judgment of the Superior Court of Alameda County (California), which awarded plaintiff employee damages in an action for breach of contract of employment. The trial court also denied the employers’ motion for a new trial.

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The employee entered into a two-year contract to work as a manager in the employers’ restaurant. He was discharged after nine months and filed a breach of contract action against the employers for which the trial court awarded him damages. On appeal the court affirmed and held that (1) the trial court’s finding that the contract did not contain a satisfaction clause was supported because there was strong evidence that the parties did not intend for the contract to be one for the satisfaction of the employers, (2) the trial court’s failure to make a specific finding on the issue of whether the employers’ discharge of the employee was justifiable was not prejudicial error, (3) the employee was not obligated to accept other different employment in order to mitigate damages or show that he made a good-faith effort to secure employment and failed, (4) the amount of damages was properly determined to be the difference between the actual amount earned and the amount that would have been received under the contract, and (5) the trial court correctly denied the employers’ motion for a new trial because the notice of intention was filed prematurely and therefore the motion was a nullity.


The court affirmed the award of damages to the employee in an action for breach of contract and the denial of the employer’s motion for a new trial.