Ford sues former employee over broken contract

Kelly Holleran Sep. 23, 2009, 6:00pm

Ford Motor Co. has filed suit against one of its former employees, alleging the employee failed to repay relocation expenses when he quit after less than one year of employment.

Ford claims it entered into a relocation agreement on April 26, 2006, with James R. Pridemore, which required Pridemore to remain with the company for at least one year.

In exchange, Ford agreed to reimburse Pridemore for his relocation costs, according to the complaint filed Sept. 17 in Jefferson County District Court.

"The relocation expenses included, among other things, a temporary living allowance, a settling in allowance, moving expenses, administrative fees, new home closing costs, home sale expenses, and a bonus for the sale of his former home," the suit states.

But Pridemore quit working for Ford on Dec. 11, 2006, less than one year after he began his employment, the complaint says.

After Pridemore quit, Ford Motor Company claims made multiple requests for payment of $13,717.36, which was equal to one-twelfth of Ford's original relocation payment of $41,152.08 multiplied by the difference between 12 and the number of months Pridemore remained employed with Ford.

Despite multiple requests and the threat of a lawsuit, Pridemore refused to repay the money, according to the complaint.

In addition to the money it says it is due, Ford is seeking pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney's fees, costs and other relief to which it may be entitled.

Ford will be represented by Trey B.G. Sandoval and Michele Y. Smith of MeHaffyWeber in Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: E184-987.

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