Walter Huizenga's lawsuit seeks an estimated $1 million from AIADA.
Walter Huizenga appeared to win a partial victory in his lawsuit over his dismissal in 2003 as president of the American International Automobile Dealers Association.
At the end of the hearing, U.S. District Judge James Cacheris said of the case: "Some (parts) will survive. Some will not."
AIADA had asked Cacheris to rule in its favor on all counts and avoid a jury trial, scheduled for Monday, Nov. 28. Huizenga sought a similar ruling from the judge -- called summary judgment -- in his favor on some counts, leaving others for trial.
Huizenga, 56, sued last year for an award believed to exceed $1 million. The package he is seeking includes severance, pension money, deferred pay and damages for wrongful termination of his employment.
AIADA says it did nothing wrong when it decided to go "in a new direction" and let Huizenga's contract expire March 31, 2003. The association replaced Huizenga as president with Marianne McInerney. AIADA wants to expand its influence on issues beyond its core support for free trade.
A trial may yet be avoided. Cacheris said he will rule on some counts of the suit today, Nov. 21, and order the parties into arbitration on others.
A previous mediation effort did not resolve the sides' differences.
But AIADA lawyer Frank Northam said litigants sometimes reconsider the merits of settling after they get the results of motions for summary judgment.
You may e-mail Harry Stoffer at [email protected]