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Addis V. Gramophone Co. Notes

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ADDIS V. GRAMOPHONE COMPANY FACTS The plaintiff was employed by the defendants as manager of their business at Calcutta at 15l. per week as salary, and a commission on the trade done. He could be dismissed by six months' notice. In October, 1905, the defendants gave him six months' notice, but at the same time they appointed Mr. Gilpin to act as his successor, and took steps to prevent the plaintiff from acting any longer as manager. In December, 1905, the plaintiff came back to England. The plaintiff brought this action in 1906, claiming an account and damages for breach of contract. That there was a breach of contract is quite clear. If what happened in October, 1905, did not amount to a wrongful dismissal, it was, at all events, a breach of the plaintiff's right to act as manager during the six months and to earn the best commission he could make. HOLDING LORD LOKEBURN A further controversy ensued, whether the 600l. was intended to include salary for the six months, or merely damages because of the abrupt and oppressive way in which the plaintiff's services were discontinued, and the loss he sustained from the discredit thus thrown upon him. To my mind it signifies nothing in the present case whether the claim is to be treated as for wrongful dismissal or not. In any case there was a breach of contract in not allowing the plaintiff to discharge his duties as manager, and the damages are exactly the same in either view. They are, in my opinion, the salary to which the plaintiff was entitled for the six months between October, 1905, and April, 1906, together with the commission which the jury think he would have earned had he been allowed to manage the business himself. I cannot agree that the manner of dismissal affects these damages. Such considerations have never been allowed to influence damages in this kind of case. LORD JAMES My Lords, I may say if I had arrived at a different conclusion I should have been subjected to some feeling of remorse, because during many years when I was a junior at the Bar, when I was drawing pleadings, I often strove to convert a breach of contract into a tort in order to recover a higher scale of damages, it having been then as it is now, I believe, the general impression of the profession that such damages cannot be recovered in an action of contract as distinguished from tort, and therefore it was useless to attempt to recover them in such a case. That view, which I was

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