Tallinn public transport company ordered to pay ex-chief Boroditš €90,000
Harju County Court on Friday ruled in favor of a claim filed against AS Tallinna Linnatransport (TLT) by Deniss Boroditš, who was fired as chair of the management board of the City of Tallinn-owned public transport company last May, awarding him €90,000.
The first-level court told ERR's Russian-language news portal on Friday that the court decided to satisfy Boroditš' claim against TLT.
According to the judgment, TLT must pay Boroditš €90,000, as well as reimburse the ex-chief's legal expenses in the amount of €4,074.
The court found that TLT didn't present a single argument that would justify not paying this compensation to the claimant.
Deniss Boroditš, who was fired as chair of TLT's management board last May, sued the company for €90,000 in severance pay. The court had already satisfied a similar claim for nearly €60,000 filed by Otto Popel, another TLT board member fired alongside Boroditš last spring.
TLT has the opportunity to appeal the decision, but TLT board member Andrei Novikov has previously told ERR that he doesn't see much point in doing so. "As the court holds, so it shall be," he said.
Terminations not challenged
On May 18, 2022, the City of Tallinn terminated the employment contracts of TLT CEO Deniss Boroditš and board member Otto Popel, as both Boroditš and Popel had attended several training events on the City of Tallinn's dime, including paying for their plane tickets, hotels and per diems.
The city cited loss of trust in the TLT board as grounds for their termination.
Neither ex-board member challenged their termination in court; instead, they sued for severance pay. Popel's claim was satisfied by the county court last October.
Between February 2021 and May 2022, a total of €19,400 from TLT's budget was paid out in training expenses, paying for Popel's master's studies at Estonian Business School (EBS).
The ex-board member had requested compensation for training expenses from the company's accounting department a total of four times.
"If these amounts were unreasonably large for the defendant, this should have been addressed immediately, but this does not follow based on the evidence submitted to the court," the county court noted.
The court also noted that all issues concerning Popel's additional training were delegated by the company board to Boroditš, who actually acted with the board's approval.
The court took a similar position on Boroditš' suit, noting that not once in the two years during which Boroditš studied at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga at the company's expense did TLT's supervisory board acknowledge these expenses as unreasonable.
Moreover, all training costs were listed and taken into account in the TLT board-approved annual budgets for the years 2020-2022, which is why the court found that the details of Boroditš spending published last May could not have come to the City of Tallinn as a surprise.
According to an agreement concluded between parties, Boroditš was entitled to participate in training on condition that it was approved beforehand by a TLT board member, the court added.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla