Fired sawmill worker awarded $800,000 (Legal View)

Jury hands out $573,000 in punitive damages due to improper conduct in termination
By Ronald Minken
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/10/2012

A jury in British Columbia has awarded a sawmill employee more than $800,000 after he was terminated without notice after more than three decades of service.

Larry Higginson was employed by Babine Forest Products for 34 years. When the sawmill he worked at was sold to Hampton Lumber Mills, he continued with the new employer for about three more years. He was terminated — allegedly for cause — by Hampton in October 2009.

Higginson wasn’t provided with any notice when he was terminated, so he launched a wrongful dismissal lawsuit against both Hampton Lumber Mills and his former employer, Babine Forest Products. He also sought punitive damages.