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DeFranco v. Storage Tech. Corp., No. 08-1095

By FindLaw Staff | Last updated on

Employment Contract Action

In DeFranco v. Storage Tech. Corp., No. 08-1095, an action for breach of contract and promissory estoppel based on alleged breaches of an employment agreement, the court affirmed summary judgment for defendants where 1) common law contract principles allowed for the formation of contracts without the signatures of the parties bound by them, and thus the written agreement making plaintiff an at-will employee bound defendant; and 2) because plaintiff could not show that he provided special consideration to defendant in exchange for defendant's alleged promise to provide permanent employment, no enforceable contract providing for anything other than employment at will existed.

As the court wrote:  "Plaintiff-Appellant Thom DeFranco was an employee of Defendant Appellee Storage Technology Corporation ("StorageTek") in Colorado when he agreed to accept an overseas assignment in 2004. Before accepting the two-year job overseas, however, he received verbal assurances from three different StorageTek employees that he would have a "permanent job" when he returned from his work in the United Kingdom. After receiving those assurances, he signed a "Secondment Agreement" with Defendant-Appellee StorageTek International Services Corporation ("StorageTek International"), providing, among other things, that his employment with the company was strictly at will."

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