Court rejects ex-iSoft CTO claims

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Court rejects ex-iSoft CTO claims

Contract offers no basis for breach claims.

The Federal Court has rejected former iSoft executive Brian Cohen's $1.6 million tilt at the e-health company for an alleged breach of contract.

Cohen, brother of iSoft founder and former chief executive Gary Cohen, claimed he was owed millions in unpaid annual leave, redundancy, long service and other payments when he was made redundant from iSoft in September last year.

However, presiding judge, Justice Geoffrey Flick, found iSoft owed no money to the former chief technology officer.

In court documents filed in November last year, Cohen alleged iSoft had breached employment contracts between 2000 and 2010, while he was employed as chief technology officer at IBA Health and subsequently iSoft.

Cohen, who oversaw product management for iSoft from its Indian offices for several years, said he had negotiated a 6 percent salary increase to approximately $450,000 in 2009.

A $100,000 retention payment offered to all senior executives during 2010 was also not offered to him, on the grounds he was related to Gary Cohen, he alleged.

Cohen’s claims were based largely on a contract he signed with the parent company, iSoft Group, in 2000. At the heart of the case, according to Justice Flick, was whether the contract remained in force until he was made redundant last year.

Although Cohen argued that he was owed payments according to the 2000 agreement, Justice Flick found those contract terms "most probably came to an end" in 2003, before he was seconded to India.

"There is little evidentiary support for any conclusion that Dr Cohen was employed by [iSoft Group] according to the same 'core' terms and conditions as were previously set forth in the 2000 Agreement," Justice Flick said.

He ruled that long service leave and fair work legislation were not applicable to Cohen during the proceedings as a result of the contract issues.

Cohen's brother Gary Cohen had attempted to block the $460 million sale of iSoft to US integrator CSC in Australian courts earlier last year.

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