Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dundas v. Winter Sports, Inc.

Supreme Court of Montana

November 7, 2017

MARK DUNDAS, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
WINTER SPORTS, INC., Defendant and Appellee.

          Submitted on Briefs: October 4, 2017

         APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Eleventh Judicial District, In and For the County of Flathead, Cause No. DV-15-852(D) Honorable Dan Wilson, Presiding Judge COUNSEL OF RECORD:

          For Appellant: Gary Crowe, Attorney at Law, Kalispell, Montana

          For Appellee: Mikel L. Moore, Christopher C. DiLorenzo, Moore, Cockrell, Goicoechea & Johnson, P.C., Kalispell, Montana

          OPINION

          MIKE McGRATH JUDGE.

         ¶1 Mark Dundas appeals from the District Court's January 20, 2017 Order Granting Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. We affirm.

         ¶2 The issue on appeal is whether the District Court properly granted summary judgment dismissing Dundas' claims for wrongful discharge under the Montana Wrongful Discharge From Employment Act (WDEA), Title 39, chapter 2, part 9, MCA.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         ¶3 Defendant Winter Sports, Inc. (WSI) operates the Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana.[1] Its primary operation is a winter ski resort, but it also has limited operations in other seasons. The majority of WSI's employees are seasonal and work less than a full year. WSI has approximately 100 year-round employees, but that number increases to approximately 525 in the winter season. The winter seasonal employees work a season that varies with the snowfall, and they may be off work as long as seven months between the end of one winter season and the beginning of the next.

         ¶4 Dundas was a winter seasonal employee at WSI during each of the winter seasons from 2003 to 2014. WSI hired Dundas for the 2014-2015 winter season for a new position of Snow Safety Coordinator. Dundas' job was set to begin approximately November 19, 2014, and to end April 12, 2015, depending upon the weather. He also applied for the positions of Ski Patrol Manager and Assistant Ski Patrol Manager but was not hired for either position.

         ¶5 According to WSI managers, Dundas was angry because he did not get hired for either of the Ski Patrol positions. Dundas sent an email to Chester Powell, Director of Mountain Operations, that was critical of the hiring process and that stated he had a "very low opinion" of Powell and of Dan Graves, CEO of the WSI operation. The WSI managers also determined that Dundas expressed his anger to other employees "in a manner that WSI management found insubordinate and inappropriate." The WSI Ski Patrol Manager David Stephens counseled Dundas that his negative attitude and his profane statements to others about his job and his superiors were inappropriate. WSI terminated Dundas on March 1, 2015, because of his inappropriate behavior.

         ¶6 Dundas sued WSI for damages for wrongful discharge under the Montana Wrongful Discharge From Employment Act, Title 39, chapter 2, part 9, MCA. Dundas alleged that WSI lacked good cause to terminate his employment (§ 39-2-904(1)(b), MCA); that WSI failed to follow its written personnel policies (§ 39-2-904(1)(c), MCA); and that WSI terminated him for refusing to violate public policy or for reporting violations of public policy (§ 39-2-904(1)(a), MCA). WSI moved for summary judgment on all the claims. The District Court held a hearing on January 18, 2017, and subsequently entered the order granting WSI's motion, concluding that Dundas did not have a wrongful discharge claim because he was a probationary employee who could be terminated for any reason as provided in § 39-2-904(2)(a), MCA. Dundas appeals.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶7 This Court reviews a district court's decision on summary judgment to determine whether it is correct, using the same criteria under M. R. Civ. P. 56. Pilgeram v. GreenPoint ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.