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Microsoft Wins Wrongful Determination Case Filed by Former Employees

George Engstrom and John Stockwell claim Microsoft retaliated against them for raising red flags against another employee, but a U.S. court dismissed the case.


has emerged victorious following a two-year legal battle with two former employees. A King County Superior Court judge ruled in the company's favor and dismissed a wrongful termination case that was first filed in 2015.

The ruling was made by Judge Veronica Galván on Oct. 19 and was against plaintiffs John (Ted) Stockwell and George (Eric) Engstrom. The decision meants Microsoft's motion for summary judgement was granted.

Engstrom and Stockwell filed a lawsuit in 2015, suing Microsoft for the way they were dismissed. The pair argued they were subjected to internal retaliation and were wrongfully terminated from their employment.

However, Galván said Engstrom and Stockwell “have failed to establish the clarity, jeopardy and causation elements of their wrongful discharge claims.” She added that they “have failed to satisfy the causation element of their claims and have failed to establish a public policy which would protect them, as at-will employees, from termination of their employment.”

Both former employees claimed they were targeted by the company in a retaliation. That was because they raised concerns about over $7,000 in expenses submitted by another employee. This unnamed employee used the funds to entertain corporate partners at a “hostess bar” in Korea.

Investigation and Dismissal

Microsoft launched an investigation to see if the employee was using company expenses for prostitution for partners. The employee denied the allegations at the time.

Engstrom was among the creators of DirectX, while Stockwell held a high-ranking managerial position. Both said Microsoft retaliated against them and gave them negative performance reviews. Both say they had previously enjoyed promotions and strong feedback from the company.

Microsoft said in a statement, “The plaintiffs failed to provide evidence to back up their allegations, which is why a Judge recently dismissed their case before it even got to trial.”

Last Updated on November 6, 2017 10:05 am CET

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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