Harvest One responds to Gedeon lawsuit, says little
HARVEST ONE Cannabis Inc. denies that it owes anything to Andreas Gedeon, its former chief executive officer. Mr. Gedeon is suing the company in the Supreme Court of British Columbia over his firing, claiming that Harvest One owes him $525,000. He said that the company agreed to pay the money after it dismissed him for no reason, but the payment never arrived.
The denials from Harvest One are contained in a response that the company filed at the Vancouver courthouse on Oct. 11, 2018. The brief document says little about the circumstances of Mr. Gedeon’s dismissal. Harvest One agrees that it entered into an agreement with Mr. Gedeon after he left the company, but it claims that it does not owe him anything. The company does not elaborate. It asks that the suit be dismissed.
The sparse response from Harvest One comes over two months after Mr. Gedeon sued the company. In a notice of claim dated Aug. 30, 2018, he identified himself as the CEO of Harvest One until July 3, 2018, when the company replaced him. Harvest One hired Grant Froese, who was the chief operating officer of Loblaw Companies Ltd.
The transition, as described by Mr. Gedeon, was supposed to be an amicable one. Mr. Froese had more corporate experience and was to mentor Mr. Gedeon. The eventual goal was to have Mr. Gedeon become CEO again in two years. In the meantime, Mr. Gedeon was to retain a senior position at Harvest One, the suit claimed.
The plan, at least as Mr. Gedeon described it, was a short-lived one. Mr. Gedeon was unhappy with the position that the company offered him, that of vice-president of business development. He said that the position was considerably inferior to his prior role and was inconsistent with the plan to have him return to the CEO position. Accordingly, he declined the job. Three days later, Harvest One fired him.
Mr. Gedeon claimed that after his dismissal, Harvest One agreed to pay him $750,000 with respect to his termination. The actual amount that he would receive would be $525,000, after deducting the $225,000 that the company would be obligated to remit to the Canada Revenue Agency. According to the suit, the company never sent the money. When Mr. Gedeon inquired about the payment, Harvest One accused him of breaching his obligations, he said. The company did not provide any particulars.
Vancouver lawyer Robyn Jarvis of Harris & Company LLP filed the suit on Mr. Gedeon’s behalf. An Edmonton lawyer, Jim Schmidt of Bennett Jones LLP, filed Harvest One’s response.
Jason Michael Bednar, Anne Bhanu Chopra, Andreas Gedeon, Will Stewart, Peter Wall
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