Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

WURST v. NESTLE FOODS CORP.

December 7, 1991

DAVID P. WURST, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NESTLE FOODS CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cohill, Chief Judge.

MEMORANDUM ORDER

This action was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Gary L. Lancaster in accordance with the Magistrates Act, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), and Rules 3 and 4 of the Local Rules for Magistrates. On November 22, 1991, the Magistrate Judge filed his Report, which concluded that defendant's motion for summary judgment should be granted. Plaintiff filed timely objections to the Report. After de novo review of the pleadings and documents in the case, together with the Magistrate Judge's Report and objections thereto, the following ORDER is entered this day of 7th December, 1991:

Defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted.

The Report filed by Magistrate Judge Lancaster is adopted as the Opinion of the Court.

REPORT

I.  BACKGROUND

Unless otherwise indicated, the following is undisputed. Plaintiff Wurst was hired by defendant Nestle Foods Corporation in January 1986. Until the summer of 1988, he worked as a Territory Manager in Nestle's Food Service Division with responsibility for the western half of Pennsylvania and surrounding environs. In performing that job, he testified that he spent 80% of his time traveling to visit his current and prospective customers.

At a sales convention in May, 1988, Wurst injured his back while picking up a brief case. In July, 1988, Wurst began receiving workmen's compensation benefits equal to two-thirds of his salary. He still has not recovered to the extent necessary to return to work.

In July, 1989, defendant adopted a formal written policy addressing employees who are out of work for an extended period of time on medical leave. That portion relevant to our inquiry provided that when an employee takes workmen's compensation leave, he is entitled to a full six months of leave before his position is filled, thereafter, for an additional six months he is entitled to reinstatement to an open position in his region. If at the end of twelve full months the employee is still physically unable to return to work, he is automatically discharged with no right to reinstatement.*fn1

On September 22, 1989, the company's personnel director advised Wurst that pursuant to the new company policy, he was being terminated because twelve months had passed since Wurst had worked and he was still unable to return to work.

Plaintiff's complaint asserts three separate counts for relief. In count one, he claims wrongful discharge. In count two, he contends that defendant discharged him with the sole intent to harm him. In count three, plaintiff claims that he is due wages for work he performed while on disability leave, pursuant to Pennsylvania's Wage Payment and Collection Law. 43 Pa.Stat. Ann. § 260.1 et seq. ("WPCL").

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment is proper when the pleadings and evidence on file show that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R.Civ.P. Rule 56(c). A "material fact" is one whose resolution will affect the ultimate ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.