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Miller v. Community Discount Centers

MAY 9, 1967.

ARTHUR P. MILLER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

COMMUNITY DISCOUNT CENTERS, INC., A CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ROBERT McAULIFFE, Judge, presiding. Judgment amended and affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE BRYANT DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Rehearing denied June 20, 1967.

This is an appeal from a judgment of the Circuit Court of Cook County which found that the defendant had breached its contract of employment with the plaintiff, Arthur Miller. Plaintiff was awarded a sum of $4,062.93 in damages. Defendant, Community Discount Centers, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as Community) raises several allegations of error on this appeal, the chief of which is that there was no breach because the contract was a contract at will and terminable at any time.

The plaintiff, Arthur P. Miller, came from Toledo, Ohio, to Chicago, Illinois in response to a classified advertisement in a Toledo newspaper, which had been placed there by the defendant. Miller first came to Chicago for an interview with Community and to fill out an application for employment. A few weeks later, plaintiff was offered a position as a management trainee by Melvin Kent, personnel director for the defendant at a salary of $10,000 per year. Miller received a letter confirming his appointment from Kent. That letter is as follows:

"October 2, 1962

Mr. Arthur P. Miller 2945 East Lincolnshire Toledo, Ohio

Dear Mr. Miller:

First, let me again extend an official welcome to the Community family; we are certain you have a rewarding and satisfying career (emphasis added) ahead of you.

For the record, I should like to confirm the employment arrangements with you.

Your beginning salary will be $10,000.00 per year as a Store Management Trainee. Regarding moving expenses, we will pay one-half now and the balance after one year.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely yours, /s/ Melvin Kent Director of Personnel"

MK/af

Plaintiff began work in Chicago on October 15, 1962, leaving his family in Toledo. He worked first as an assistant manager at the Villa Park store of defendant and then was assigned to the defendant's store at Belmont and Clark Streets in Chicago. During the first week in January, 1963, before plaintiff had moved his ...


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