Universal Studios Home Entertainment today filed suit against its former chief operating officer Thomas Emrey, alleging that he breached his contract and fiduciary duties when he took a job as CFO at DineEquity last month. The Glendale-based firm, which operates restaurant chains including IHOP and Applebee’s, was also named in the suit for aiding and abetting the alleged breach. Universal claims that Emrey was under contract through May of 2012 but announced on September 2 that he had a new job and stopped coming to work. Universal claims in the suit that Emrey knew he was leaving for months before he left, and knowingly exited the unit just as it was prepping for two major DVD releases, Bridesmaids this month and Fast Five in October. The suit, filed in L.A. Superior Court, seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as legal fees.

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