RSA Insurance Group Plc said it will fight a constructive dismissal case filed by the former head of its Irish unit, who stepped down more than a year ago amid an accounting scandal.
Philip Smith, who was was paid 34,000 euros ($39,000) a month as chief executive officer of the unit, resigned in November 2013 without severance pay saying he was being made a “fall-guy.” RSA’s lawyer Brian O’Moore told an Employment Appeals Tribunal in Dublin that they would defend the claim “robustly.”
“This is a rather unusual case,” Smith’s lawyer Tom Mallon said at the hearing. “It’s a case of potential significance not only in money terms, but my client’s employability in future.”
Smith resigned during an investigation into the Irish business’s accounting practices. The unit’s Chief Financial Officer Rory O’Connor and Claims Director Peter Burke were later fired after a probe found that some executives had made reports that were “inaccurate and potentially misleading.”
RSA is still awaiting Irish regulatory action following the accounting scandal and a 200 million-pound ($302 million) capital injection in Ireland that cost former Group CEO Simon Lee his job.
“We’re here to fight the case tooth and nail,” said RSA’s Moore at the hearing. ‘The case, as we see it, has no merit.”
The tribunal’s chair Niamh O’Carroll-Kelly set March 9 for the start of a potential five-day hearing.