Fuyao and coalition executive Burrows settle lawsuit

Suit settled as Burrows returns to Dayton Development Coalition

Fuyao Glass America and Dave Burrows, a former executive with Fuyao’s Moraine auto glass plant, have settled their lawsuit, court filings indicate.

Burrows filed suit against Fuyao and Fuyao Global founder Cho Tak Wong in May 2017, alleging breach of contract, defamation and other charges tied to Burrows’ separation from the Chinese-owned company the previous November.

On the same day in November 2016, both Burrows and another top plant manager, John Gauthier, saw their employment at Fuyao ended, about a month after the plant’s grand opening gala event. Gauthier was never part of Burrows’ lawsuit.

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Burrows had argued in federal court filings that Fuyao convinced him to sell his Cold Stone Creamery franchise and leave a position as an executive with the Dayton Development Coalition to join the company.

Burrows maintained that he had relied upon Cho and Fuyao’s “representation of continued employment and compensation through 2017,” as outlined in an employment contract with Fuyao, the suit argued.

Burrows went on to a position with Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley before re-joining the coalition as “vice president of engagement” in April, according to his LinkedIn page.

It was originally as an executive with the coalition that Burrows had been part of the team of local and state officials who persuaded Cho in 2013 to build a North American production site in Moraine.

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It appears the lawsuit against one of the Dayton area’s largest manufacturers was settled at about the same time that Burrows returned to a job with the coalition.

Today, Fuyao has more than 2,300 local workers, although the plant is not fully operating at the moment, due to the COVID-19-related shutdown of much of the American auto industry.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rose approved the settlement of the case last month, shortly after the case went to mediation.

No terms of the settlement are given in the case’s most recent filing, but Rose did write: “The court will retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement between the parties, if necessary.”

Emails were sent to Burrows, as well as his attorney and an attorney for Fuyao in the case.

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