Burrows, Fuyao file dueling lawsuit motions on same day

Cho Tak Wong, chairman of Fuyao Group, speaks during the grand opening of the Fuyao Glass America Moraine plant in October 2016. AP Photo/John Minchillo

A former Fuyao Glass America executive suing the founder of the company where he once worked says an international treaty shouldn’t stop his lawsuit from going forward.

In June, Cho Tak Wong — founder of Chinese auto glass maker Fuyao and its Moraine-based American arm, Fuyao Glass America — moved to “quash and to dismiss” a lawsuit filed by Dave Burrows, a former Fuyao vice president, in part because the summons and complaint in the suit were not translated into Chinese, “as required” by the Hague Convention, a series of international standards on civil and commercial law.

In a filing late last week, Burrows argued that the treaty simply doesn’t apply.

“Cho was personally delivered with the complaint on Sept. 15, 2017 and such proof of service has been filed with this court,” Burrows’ attorneys wrote in a motion to dismiss Cho’s own motion to quash Burrows’ lawsuit.

“Defendant Cho was not ‘located in another signatory nation’ as argued by plaintiff whereby he wants to apply the Hague Convention, but was located in Montgomery County, Ohio when service was made,” Burrows’ motion added.

In a response filed the same day, Cho withdrew his motion to quash Burrows’ lawsuit, saying he intended to respond to the latest filing by Friday.

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Burrows is suing his former employer and its founder over his separation from the company in November 2016, claiming fraud, breach of contract, defamation, discrimination and more. The suit is in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

Burrows and John Gauthier were two top executives at Fuyao’s Moraine plant when their employment there ended in November. Gauthier is not part of Burrows’ lawsuit.

In his lawsuit, Burrows has argued that on Nov. 14 last year, Cho called a meeting of employees at Fuyao where he “falsely stated to those present that Burrows had resigned.”

Burrows maintains that he was fired that day “without cause and without written notice, and was not given any explanation, oral or written, for his termination.”

Burrows has declined to comment on the lawsuit; a message seeking comment was left with his attorney Monday. Fuyao spokespeople have called his lawsuit “meritless.” A message was left with one of the company’s attorneys.

Fuyao employs about 2,000 people at its Moraine auto glass production site, said to the world’s largest auto glass factory.

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