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Former employer failed to pay monies owed: plaintiffs
Greenville County, Court of Common Pleas
Employment – Commissions, Compensation; Contracts – Breach of Contract; Employment – Employment Agreement
Scott Burley and LaDawn Burley v. Gravitopia Carolina LLC,
February 22, 2017
Scott Burley (Male, 40s),
LaDawn Burley (Female, 40s)
John P. Mann Jr.;
Mann Law Firm, PA;
Scott Burley, LaDawn Burley
Gravitopia Carolina LLC
Everett A. Kendall II;
Sweeny Wingate & Barrow, PA;
Gravitopia Carolina LLC
On Aug. 23, 1014, plaintiffs Scott and LaDawn Burley resigned from their positions as general managers for a trampoline park in Greenville. They claimed they resigned because they were owed money pursuant to an employment agreement. The Burleys sued Gravitopia Carolina, LLC, the owner of the trampoline park, alleging Gravitopia owed them money pursuant to their employment agreement. They also claimed that Gravitopia violated the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act. The Burleys were hired by Gravitopia on Sept. 27, 2013. They claimed their employment agreement provided that they would be paid $5,000/month (jointly), plus an amount equal to 10 percent of the monthly net profits of the Greenville location, as compensation. Despite the agreement, they claimed they were not paid the 10 percent of profits for May, June, July and August 2014, which totaled $50,000. They asserted that they made repeated demands for payment, to no avail. The defense disputed the allegations and contended that the Burleys breached an implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. According to the defense, the Burleys subsequently opened their own trampoline park, which directly competed with Gravitopia. The defense argued that the Burleys dedicated their time in the last months of their employment to opening the competing park. Gravitopia counterclaimed for breach of the fiduciary duty of loyalty and breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing by dedicating time and effort to establish a new trampoline park to directly compete with Gravitopia while they were employed by Gravitopia. The counterclaim also included an allegation that the Burleys intentionally and deceptively used their positions with Gravitopia to gain an understanding of the trampoline business in preparation to compete. The Burleys denied the allegations contained in the counterclaim.
The Burleys sought 10 percent of Gravitopia’s profits from May through August 2014, or $50,000, per their employment contract, plus treble damages for violation of the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act and attorney fees. Gravitopia contended that it only owed $900 to the Burleys.
The jury found for the Burleys and awarded them $38,465.59.
Donald B. Hocker
Plaintiff’s motion for treble damages and attorney fees was denied. The judgment was paid and this case is closed.
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs’ counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to a request for comment.