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Jack McCann Co. v. Jaycox

April 14, 1997

JACK MCCANN COMPANY, INC., A WASHINGTON CORPORATION, APPELLANT,
v.
TOM JAYCOX, RESPONDENT.



Appeal from Superior Court of King County. Docket No: 95-2-03295-8. Date filed: 03/07/96.

PER CURIAM -- Jack McCann Company, Inc., appeals a judgment in favor of its employee, Tom Jaycox, for a bonus owing under an agreement. McCann challenges several findings of fact and contends the court erred in concluding it had no reasonable basis to deny Jaycox a bonus in 1994. Because a finding material to the court's decision is not supported by the record, and because that finding indicates that the court did not resolve a material factual dispute, we reverse and remand for entry of additional findings.

FACTS

Jack McCann Company, Inc., is a Washington corporation engaged in the construction business. Tom Jaycox was employed with McCann as an estimator from 1989 through August, 1994.

In January 1994, the parties executed an agreement that stated in pertinent part:

Tom Jaycox agrees to commit for the next three years his best effort to Jack McCann Company Inc. and agrees not to get involved in any other business or enterprise and to focus his time on increasing the profits in this company. If this is accomplished for the year 1994 to the satisfaction of the company, Jack McCann Company agrees to pay a bonus at the end of 1994 . . . [of] $35,000 plus an additional $15,000[.]

In August, 1994, McCann terminated its construction operation. Jaycox did not receive a bonus for 1994.

In February, 1995, McCann sued Jaycox for collection of promissory notes. Jaycox raised various defenses and asserted a counterclaim for a 1994 bonus under the parties' agreement.

The trial court found there was "no evidence" that Jaycox was not committed to McCann or that he engaged in any outside business during 1994.

The court also found that the "preponderance of the evidence indicated that, through August 1994, Jaycox focused his time on increasing McCann's profits." Although the court found McCann suffered losses in 1994, it found they were "attributable to a number of problems and were not attributable solely to Jaycox's performance." Finally, the court found that in April 1994 meetings, McCann did not raise concerns about Jaycox's on-the-job availability.

The court concluded that McCann had not shown reasonable grounds for its dissatisfaction with Jaycox's performance in 1994; therefore Jaycox was entitled to a bonus under the agreement. The court entered judgment for McCann on the promissory notes and for Jaycox on his counterclaim for the 1994 bonus.

McCann appeals the judgment on the counterclaim.

DECISION

McCann first contends several of the court's findings are not supported by substantial evidence. He challenges finding of fact eight, which states:

There was no evidence that during 1994 Jaycox was not committed to McCann; in fact in August 1994, Jaycox was running ...


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