Appeal from the Judgment entered November 28, 1986 in the Court of Common Pleas of Venango County, Civil Division, at No. 168 of 1986.
Thomas M. Torquato, Lewistown, for appellant.
Keith M. Pemrick, Franklin, for appellees.
Del Sole, Popovich and Montgomery, JJ.
The instant appeal follows a trial court order granting summary judgment against Appellant who sought to recover for his alleged wrongful discharge.
The review of a grant of a summary judgment is based upon a well established standard:
Summary judgment may be granted if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Williams v. Pilgrim Life Insurance Co., 306 Pa. Super. 170, 452 A.2d 269 (1982); Scheetz v. Borough of Lansdale, 64 Pa. Commw.Ct. 24, 438 A.2d 1048 (1982). It is basic that summary judgment may be entered only in a case that is clear and free from doubt. Dunn v. Teti, 280 Pa. Super. 399, 421 A.2d 782 (1980); Tom Morello Construction Co. v. Bridgeport Federal Savings & Loan Association, 280 Pa. Super. 329, 421 A.2d 747 (1980).
Martin v. Capital Cities Media, Inc., 354 Pa. Super. 199, 207, 511 A.2d 830, 834 (1986) quoting Rossi v. Pennsylvania State University, 340 Pa. Super. 39, 45, 489 A.2d 828, 831 (1985). It is further recognized that "in reviewing the record on appeal from the trial court's grant of summary judgment, this Court must accept as true all well-pleaded facts in the nonmoving party's pleadings, giving the nonmoving party the benefit of all reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom". Johnson v. Baker, 346 Pa. Super. 183, 186, 499 A.2d 372, 374 (1985).
The complaint and amended complaint filed by Appellant set forth two counts of wrongful discharge. Count One sought to establish that Appellant had been discharged by his employer without just cause contrary to the parties
implied long-term contract. Appellant's second theory of recovery was grounded on Appellant's claim that his dismissal was a violation of public policy. These pleadings along with depositions and answers to interrogatories establish the following.
Appellant left his employment as circulation manager of the Lewistown Sentinel to begin working at an increased salary for Appellees as publisher of the Clarion News. It was Appellant's understanding that he would be working for a period of time along with the current publisher, who was about to retire. The date of the current publisher's retirement was never established. Appellant was informed at the time of hiring that he would work in Clarion as publisher for "at least two years" and thereafter would become general manager in Oil City, a position Appellant desired because it would result in a pay increase and because Oil City was Appellant's childhood home. Appellant placed his house in Lewistown for sale and relocated to ...