The opinion of the court was delivered by: LORD, III
This diversity action arises out of defendant's termination of plaintiff's employment. Plaintiff Lekich alleges that his dismissal involved defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, wrongful discharge and intentional interference with prospective contractual relations. The case is before us on defendant's motion for summary judgment. Because we conclude that plaintiff's affidavit raises no genuine issue of material fact, International Business Machines Corporation is entitled to judgment as a matter of law and we will grant defendant's motion.
The following facts are not genuinely disputed:
A. Plaintiff Ivo Lekich was hired in December 1975 by defendant International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) as an associate marketing representative at defendant's Valley Forge, Pennsylvania office.
B. Plaintiff had no oral or written agreement with defendant concerning the length of his employment; he was thus employed under an at-will contract.
C. From December 1975 to August 1976 plaintiff made long distance phone calls from an extension assigned to him. Plaintiff paid for these calls when billed by defendant.
D. Between December 1975 and September 1976, plaintiff made one long distance telephone call, in April 1976, from an extension other than his own. Plaintiff was not billed for this call nor did he volunteer payment.
E. From October 1976 to February 1977 plaintiff made twenty long distance telephone calls from extensions other than his own. Plaintiff was not billed for these calls nor did he volunteer payment. No long distance telephone calls were made from his own phone extension during this period.
F. Sixteen of the telephone calls made from extensions other than plaintiff's own were to his parents in New York. Plaintiff's mother was ill during this time.
G. IBM discovered by chance that plaintiff was making long distance telephone calls from an extension other than his own. An investigation was conducted and the twenty calls were discovered.
H. On May 2, 1977, two of plaintiff's immediate supervisors, Jack Cooper and Mike Ring, met separately with plaintiff to discuss the long distance telephone calls. Plaintiff admitted making the calls and insisted that he intended to pay for them when billed. Cooper and Ray separately determined that Lekich knew IBM would not discover the telephone calls in the course of its ordinary billing procedure and that Lekich knowingly violated the IBM policy of paying for personal calls. Plaintiff was dismissed from employment with IBM.
I. Pursuant to IBM's Open Door policy, an intracompany appeal procedure, plaintiff filed three appeals. Each time IBM investigators reviewed the case. Each review concluded that Lekich had knowingly breached company policy.
J. On June 3, 1977, C. B. Rogers, Jr., an IBM division president, wrote to Lekich that the conclusion that plaintiff had knowingly breached company policy was supported by the facts and that the decision to dismiss him was correct.
K. On August 8, 1977, Frank T. Cary, chairman of the board of IBM, wrote to plaintiff that the decision to terminate his ...