The Keays Versus Honda Case

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  • Published : November 21, 2011
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Fact Summary:

Kevin Keays had been employed with Honda Canada for 14 years when he was fired. During his employment, Keays was diagnosed with choric fatigue syndrome and was granted disability leave for about two years. After the two years Keays returned to work, however Honda became concerned when Keays was continuously absent. Honda requested Keays visit with the organizations occupational medicine specialist to further diagnose his condition. Keays refused to abide with Hondas request and sought legal guidance at which point Honda terminated his employment.

The Keays versus Honda case was presented in court three times. The first of which ended in Keays favor with the trial judge ordering Honda to pay Keays damages based on a 15 month period plus an additional 9 months the termination itself. Honda was also ordered to pay Keays an additional $500,000 in punitive damages as the basis that Honda’s action where discriminatory. Consequently, Honda appealed this original decision at which point the Ontario Court of Appeal got involved. The Court of Appeal believed the 24 month “severance package” to be appropriate, however they disagreed with the original $500,000 punitive damages. The argument was that Keays legal representation failed to prove that Honda had conspired against Keays reducing the punitive damages to $100,000. Again Honda appealed the decision which bumped the case right to the Supreme Court of Canada. After analyzing the case the Supreme Court felt that no punitive damages should be awarded arguing that Honda’s action where in no way in “bad faith”. In conclusion, Keays received the 24 month grace pay that was originally awarded to him.
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