Ousted AlarmForce CEO files $11 lawsuit for wrongful dismissal, damages

TORONTO – The recently ousted chief executive of AlarmForce Industries (TSX:AF) has filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit against the home-security company he founded 25-years ago.

Joel Matlin, who was at the home security company’s helm since its inception in 1988 and often the voice and face of AlarmForce in ad campaigns, claims he was dismissed without cause or notice, which goes against the terms of his contract.

He’s also asking for punitive and aggravated damages because of the way the firing was handled, claiming it was done in bad faith and in a manner that damaged Matlin’s reputation.

None of the allegations has been proven in court and may be challenged by the company.

The $11-million claim includes $1.3 million for wrongful dismissal, $6,460 in unpaid vacation and $10,000 in damages. He also wants AlarmForce to acknowledge he was wrongfully dismissed.

Matlin, 65, says a statement of claim that he was terminated ahead of a meeting to present his new vision for the company to the board of directors, and forced to leave the building without being given time to collect his belongings.

The suit also claims several of Matlin’s family members had their jobs at AlarmForce suspended and then terminated because of their relationship with him.

Matlin, who holds a nearly eight per cent stake in the company, continues to appear in the company’s television and radio commercials despite the dismissal.

He has previously said he plans to rally shareholders to put him back in charge, and that the termination stemmed from conflicts with chief financial officer Anthony Pizzonia, who has been named interim president and chief executive.

AlarmForce was not immediately available for comment.

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