Faigin v. Signature Group Holdings, Inc., 211 Cal. App. 4th 726 (2012)

Alan W. Faigin worked as an in-house attorney for Fremont General Corporation (which later became Signature Group Holdings) for 17 years before his employment was terminated for cause in March 2008. Faigin sued Fremont based on a number of theories, including breach of an implied-in-fact contract, and a jury returned a verdict in Faigin’s favor in the amount of $1,347,000. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment, holding that the absence of an express employment-at-will agreement supported Faigin’s assertion that his employment was subject to an implied-in-fact contract that the employment could only be terminated for good cause. The court also affirmed the award of damages and held that it did not constitute an illegal “golden parachute” payment within the meaning of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act. The court also ruled that “oral assurances of job security… [are,] in and of themselves, evidence of the existence of an implied promise” and are, therefore, not inadmissible hearsay. Finally, the court held that the denial of prejudgment interest to Faigin was proper.