A WRONGFUL dismissal case between Steve Etienne and the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization (ECCO) has been settled, two years after Etienne was fired by the organization which he helped create.
Etienne was fired from his position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the music copyright society, by letter dated 14th December 2017. In that letter, signed by then Chairman of the Board, Mr Martin James, the main reason given for the dismissal of Etienne was “misappropriation of the financial assets of the organization.”
After receiving service of the writ ECCO filed its defence. However, as the court process commenced, it was proposed that the matter be settled by mediation rather than by means of a full-scale trial.
According to Etienne it is generally agreed that when a defendant agrees or suggests mediation subsequent to being sued it is because the defendant and/or its legal counsel has concluded that it is highly unlikely that it will prevail at a trial. The defendant opts for mediation as a way of limiting its expenses on legal fees, damages and costs.
Etienne, Tuesday told reporters he reluctantly agreed to mediation knowing that he would prevail in a court of law.
“The fact that at mediation ECCO agreed to a substantial payment to him with interest and costs in settlement of his claim vindicates him and is positive proof that ECCO’s claim of misappropriation of financial assets was totally bogus and without any basis in fact. In Etienne’s estimation his unfair dismissal was motivated by jealousy, greed and malice on the part of certain members of the Board of Directors of ECCO,” stated a press release on the matter distributed prior to the press conference.
Etienne, as an individual, has severed ties with ECCO, however with his new business venture called The Ikon, an intellectual property rights consultancy firm, he would not mind doing business with the company he helped build and develop throughout the sub-region.
Etienne’s new initiative is based in London and has a global reach. According to him, “I will go where the work is.”
He added, “Our purpose and critical objective is to uncomplicate the seemingly complicated process for business owners and artistes. We make it easy for you to understand the sometimes complex world of intellectual property rights,” Etienne said.