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What precisely did they do that prevented him from working?
There is no legal cause of action for being unable to work because of obligations ( to be a party) in litigation. He could have counter-sued for costs and punitive damages in the lawsuit for abuse of process as they owners did not have a viable claim against him as an employee. In other words there is no such thing, legally, as a claim against an employee for not taking sides in owner litigation. However, he needed to do that in response to the lawsuit during the time the lawsuit was pending; this is what is called mandatory joinder of claims.
I understand he was no longer an employee. The bot***** *****ne is you'll have no success at this point in a lawsuit against these people. Again. he needed while he was being sued to file a counter-suit. That time cleary passed without him doing the same. The claim if brought wold be dismissed as res judicata.
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