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JOSEPH T. LYNN v. LINDA SMITH (11/16/89)

decided: November 16, 1989.

JOSEPH T. LYNN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LINDA SMITH, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HER CAPACITY AS CHIEF OF THE DIVISION OF RECIPIENT, PROSECUTION AND RECOVERY, AND THERESA M. DUNBAR, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HER CAPACITY AS AGENT-IN-CHARGE, LUZERNE AREA AND ELWOOD BOWMAN, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, PROSECUTION AND RECOVERY AND COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, DEFENDANTS



PRAECIPE FOR WRIT OF SUMMONS.

COUNSEL

Joseph T. Lynn, pro se.

James S. Marshall, with him, Ruth B. O'Brien, Asst. Counsel, for defendants.

Crumlish, Jr., President Judge, and Gardner Colins, J., and Narick, Senior Judge.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 129 Pa. Commw. Page 519]

Joseph Lynn (Lynn) has filed a petition for review in our original jurisdiction against Linda Smith, Theresa Dunbar, Elwood Bowman and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare (collectively, Defendants)*fn1 seeking damages for wrongful discharge and intentional infliction of emotional distress in connection with his termination as a DPW employee. Presently before us for disposition

[ 129 Pa. Commw. Page 520]

    is Defendants' application for summary relief filed pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1532(b).

The following facts are alleged in the amended petition: Lynn was a DPW employee between November 11, 1976 and April 21, 1986. In April 1980, Lynn became the chief shop steward for his union, the Pennsylvania Social Services Union, Local No. 668, a position which he maintained until his termination. While serving as shop steward, Lynn filed over thirty grievances.

Lynn avers that the three individual Defendants conspired to render his life "onerous, burdensome and intolerable" (para. 12) by acts such as: removing him from criminal prosecution duties for the alleged but unnecessary purpose of cross-training; offering to allow him to continue as a prosecutor in exchange for dropping his union grievances; changing the designation of his headquarters from his home to the local county assistance office; pressuring his supervisor to lower his evaluations; threatening termination and criminal prosecution; and disciplining him in a discriminatory manner. Lynn was ultimately discharged after he filed a private criminal complaint against unnamed DPW employees. Lynn alleges that the decision to terminate his employment was made prior to his filing of the criminal complaint.

The petition for review alleges that Lynn's discharge was intended to "crush [him] financially and thereby to silence him forever." (para. 40). It further avers that the Defendants assigned DPW employees to contact individuals and agencies with which Lynn had dealings to inform them that Lynn's activities were under investigation.

Further, it is averred that Lynn was an exemplary employee who received above-average evaluations and commendations for his work. It charges that Lynn had a contractual right not to be discharged without good cause, but he was discharged without good cause and that the ...


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