Cumberland looking for 0K in damages, court docket hears, in closing arguments

Cumberland looking for $300K in damages, court docket hears, in closing arguments

The decide in Rod Cumberland’s wrongful dismissal trial heard closing arguments Friday, along with his lawyer standing agency on the allegation Cumberland was fired over his views on glyphosate, and his former employer calling the accusation a “conspiracy concept.”

The eight-day trial of Cumberland’s wrongful dismissal go well with in opposition to the Maritime Faculty of Forest Expertise wrapped up earlier than New Brunswick Court docket of King’s Bench Chief Justice Tracey DeWare, with ultimate arguments from his lawyer, Paul Champ, and the faculty’s lawyer, Clarence Bennett.

The day started with arguments from Champ, who ran via testimony the court docket heard from Cumberland himself, former and present school executives and staff, and a former scholar of his.

Cumberland was an teacher on the school when he was fired in June 2019. Central to his declare of wrongful dismissal was that he was dismissed for his opposition to the usage of glyphosate, an herbicide broadly used within the New Brunswick forest trade.

Champ referred to the minutes from the faculty’s board of governors assembly from April 2019, wherein it was famous that Cumberland had publicly criticized the forestry sector in relation to sure forest administration practices.

The trial heard that three months previous to that board assembly, Cumberland acted inappropriately in the best way he publicly questioned federal scientists who had been presenting at a convention on herbicides and the forestry trade, held in Fredericton.

The trial heard {that a} senior J.D. Irving Ltd. worker took problem with Cumberland’s feedback and complained about them to a school board of governors member, who then contacted school director Tim Marshall.

“That is what it is about,” Champ mentioned. “It is about him expressing his opinions.

“‘Publicly criticized the forestry sector’, J.D. Irving. That is how J.D. Irving clearly interpreted it when he was criticizing the forestry scientists,” Champ mentioned.

The faculty, nevertheless, argued that Cumberland’s dismissal with trigger was the results of complaints from college students about him, his resistance to a altering tradition on the school, insubordination towards his superiors, and his behaviour main as much as and in the course of the seminars, which occurred in January 2019.

Faculty lawyer Clarence Bennett, left, and govt director Tim Marshall arrive at court docket in September. Bennett delivered closing arguments Friday within the trial that earlier heard testimony from Marshall. (Jacques Poitras/CBC)

“We’re right here as a result of the plaintiff, an worker of seven years of service is in search of 14 months of discover [in damages] … and $200,000 in damages due to basically a conspiracy concept,” Bennettt mentioned in his closing arguments.

“A conspiracy concept that has been perpetrated by him, in addition to by his lawyer, and there is no manner round describing it that manner.”

Champ mentioned Cumberland is looking for $300,000 from the faculty, which incorporates pay equalling 14 months of termination discover, in addition to aggravated and punitive damages, every equalling $100,000.

After listening to greater than three hours of closing arguments from either side, DeWare mentioned she’d reserve her determination, which could be anticipated as late as the tip of March 2023.

Cumberland claims dangerous religion

Except for the allegation that Cumberland was fired for his views on glyphosate, Champ mentioned proof on how senior members on the school handled him within the months main as much as his dismissal.

These members included Gareth Davies, tutorial chair on the school, who was Cumberland’s direct supervisor, in addition to Marshall, the faculty’s govt director, who the court docket heard was implementing modifications on the school that Cumberland disagreed with.

Champ recounted how Cumberland, for months beginning in fall 2018, was being ignored and improperly handled by Davies.

Gareth Davies, tutorial chair of the Maritime Faculty of Forest Expertise, testified within the trial that Cumberland opposed his promotion to that place and tried to undermine his authority. (Aidan Cox/CBC)

Champ argued that Cumberland repeatedly emailed Davies, asking to satisfy to settle their variations.

When that went nowhere, Cumberland emailed Marshall in search of assist, Champ mentioned.

“What does Mr. Marshall do? He ignores him,” Champ mentioned. “He ignores him. He leaves Mr. Cumberland twisting within the breeze.”

‘Disdain’ for the boss

Bennett, in his closing arguments, drew focus to testimony in regards to the relationship Davies and Marshall had with Cumberland, notably in fall 2018.

The trial heard how Davies was at one time a fellow teacher and colleague of Cumberland’s, however in summer season 2018, was promoted over Cumberland to tackle the newly created position of educational chair, which made him Cumberland’s boss.

It was a promotion that the trial heard Cumberland took problem with and later filed an enchantment over. It additionally prompted him to jot down an e-mail suggesting he was making ready to sue the faculty over it.

Bennett additionally pointed to emails displaying Cumberland calling into query selections Davies made after changing into tutorial chair.

‘Something however respectful’

‘Disdain for the “I will recommend to you the emails [from Cumberland] … are something however respectful and actually present Mr. Cumberland confirmed an entire disdain for Gareth Davies, and was deliberately displaying disdain for Mr. Davies,” Bennett mentioned.

Bennett additionally famous how Davies testified that his views on glyphosate had been just like Cumberland’s, and that Marshall did not even know what glyphosate was previous to earlier than changing into the faculty’s director.

“I truly do not suppose there’s anybody who testified who urged they took problem with Mr. Cumberland’s views on glyphosate,” Bennett mentioned. “However many mentioned his supply, his judgment.

“The proof is fairly clear that [Cumberland’s] conduct on the seminar was unprofessional.”

Leave a Reply