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MARY GORALSKI AND CHARLES GORALSKI v. P.L. PIZZIMENTI AND LAKELAND SCHOOL DISTRICT (04/05/88)

decided: April 5, 1988.

MARY GORALSKI AND CHARLES GORALSKI, HER HUSBAND, APPELLANTS
v.
P.L. PIZZIMENTI AND LAKELAND SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, in the case of Mary Goralski and Charles Goralski, her husband v. P.L. Pizzimenti and Lakeland School District, No. 81 Civil, 3087.

COUNSEL

Gerard J. Geiger, with him, Ronald J. Mishkin, Mervine, Brown, Newman, Williams and Mishkin, P.C., for appellants.

Albert E. Nicholls, Jr., Hughes & Nicholls, for appellee, P.L. Pizzimenti.

John Krisa, Krisa & McDonough, for appellee, Lakeland School District.

Judges MacPhail and Doyle, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 211]

Mary Goralski and her husband (Appellants) appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, which denied their motion to remove a compulsory non-suit that the trial court had granted at

[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 212]

    the close of Appellants' case-in-chief in their defamation action against the Lakeland School District (District) and P.L. Pizzimenti (Pizzimenti). We affirm.

Mrs. Goralski is a certified home economics teacher, and from January, 1978 onward was on the District's substitute teacher list. During early 1980, Claimant applied twice to the Bureau of Employment Security*fn1 (Bureau) for unemployment benefits, which were granted on both occasions over the objection of the District. The District's defense in both cases was that Mrs. Goralski was frequently not available for work.

On May 23, 1980, Mrs. Goralski received a letter from P.L. Pizzimenti, the District's business manager, which read:

Effective immediately your services as a substitute teacher with Lakeland School District are terminated, due to misconduct, and your name will be removed from the District's substitute teacher list. This is due to the fact that you have been called for work repeatedly and have not been available. Further, you were called on May 20, 1980, two times, and May 21, 1980, one time, and on May 22, 1980, one time. Each time there was either no answer or if there was an answer, you failed to return the call after being asked to do so.

Also, on the evening of May 22, 1980, at 5:00 p.m., you called Mrs. Elaine King, a district secretary and you were very abusive toward her. (Emphasis added.)*fn2

[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 213]

The letter indicated that a carbon copy had been sent to the Olyphant office of the Bureau.*fn3 After the letter had been sent, Mrs. Goralski again applied for unemployment benefits. Although benefits were initally denied by the Bureau, Mrs. Goralski prevailed ...


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