Plaintiff alleges termination due to employer's greed

Shirley Willcock, Galveston Bureau Mar. 5, 2008, 7:42am

Lucie Treddenick

GALVESTON -- A Galveston County man claims he was terminated without discussion, in spite of an employment agreement, simply for the purposes of "greed, personal control and power."

William "Buzzy" Legate made those claims against Malin International Ship Repair & Drydock in a breach of contract suit filed Feb. 21 in Galveston County District Court.

According to the plaintiff's original petition, Legate worked in the marine construction and maintenance business for 35 years and that he was instrumental in bringing the Smith-Hamm merger to Malin. Smith-Hamm contracted with Legate before the Buyout and Merger between Malin and Smith-Hamm, and Smith-Hamm assured Legate that the employment agreement was complete.

When Smith-Hamm and Malin merged, Malin and Legate had an employment agreement limiting Malin's right to terminate Legate at will. Until Dec. 12, 2007, Plaintiff was receiving a high salary, plus vacations, bonus, life insurance and other benefits.

Legate says that Malin International failed to pay the services and labor in a reasonable value that would be well over $200,000. He is seeking three years' compensation.

Legate also claims Malin has misappropriated his name by using his nickname, "Buzzy" Legate on its Web site and defining Legate as its "Vice President of Operations." Plaintiff further says that Malin International has been damaging the good will pertaining to Legate while benefitting commercially.

Lucie S. Tredennick of Greer, Herz & Adams LLP in Galveston is representing the plaintiff.

The case has been assigned to Judge Lonnie Cox, 56th District Court.

Case No. 08cv0174

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