A former Blackberry employee is suing the company for breach of duty over his termination related to accusations of theft.
Former software development
manager Weiman Xu was fired in 2011 following the disappearance of a number of prototype phones. Photos and video of the phones were posted to a Chinese website and they were traced back to the Ottawa software development team.
Blackberry first asked Xu to resign, then fired him. The company tried to hold Xu, the manager of the department, criminally responsible but he was acquitted by the judge, despite an early partial confession in which Xu claimed he had given away the phones in an attempt to catch counterfeiters in China, the Philippines, Indonesia and North America.
In the court proceedings at the time, Xu claimed he lied to the company about giving away the phones in an attempt to save his job.
During the trial Ontario Court Justice Donald Ebbs said he was skeptical that the “highly intelligent” man would be involved in such a scheme. Blackberry had not recordes any of Xu’s initial confession, and could not prove his ties to the phones recovered in China.
Xu now alleges in his civil statement of claim that the manner he was fired was “abusive, high-handed and breached the duty owed to him by BlackBerry
as his employer.” He’s seeking a year’s salary, benefits and bonuses worth $166,000 in damages.
Blackberry maintains that Xu was responsible for the leaks and is therefore owed nothing.