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Company wins civil suit

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services

Hay River (Aug 19/02) - A Hay River company has won a civil suit against a former partner.

Universal Spirits Inc. had sued Pauline Plamondon, claiming she personally billed a client in 2001 for work she did as part of the company.

The case was heard by Judge Robert Halifax on July 4, and he issued a ruling Aug. 7. The company was awarded $5,000, the maximum allowed under the small claims civil procedure, plus costs of $35.

However, close to $14,000 was in dispute between the two parties.

Universal Spirits Inc., which is no longer operating, was started in 2000 by four women to provide counselling services and workshops on healthier lifestyles. In addition to Plamondon, the partners were Norenda Unka, Julia Trennert and Ann Firth-Jones.

Plamondon had been in negotiations with a client, Hanson & Associates, on providing workshops in Nunavut at about the same time as discussions were finalized to start Universal Spirits Inc.

In his judgment, Halifax said Plamondon carried out services for the client at the time she was involved with Universal Spirits Inc.

Plamondon had argued the contract was outside of the company and that the money belonged to her personally.

Halifax ruled Plamondon led her partners to believe she would invoice the client on behalf of the company, even though she had already billed the client personally.

"The defendant led her partners to believe that the work for Hanson & Associates would result in payments being made to the plaintiff and continued with this deception up to the end," Halifax said.