The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. CURTIS JOYNER
By way of the motions presently before the Court, the defendants in this civil action seek the entry of summary judgment in their favor on all counts of the plaintiff's complaint against them. For the reasons set forth in the following paragraphs, the motions are denied.
I. STATEMENT OF RELEVANT FACTS
On June 22, 1993, the plaintiff, Charles Christy, commenced this case against the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and its individual commissioners and personnel committee members pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985 and for the common law tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress for the defendants' alleged failure/refusal to give him a promotion solely on political grounds.
According to the pleadings, the plaintiff has been employed by the Turnpike Commission since 1976 in various positions and has been employed since 1983 as an Auto Mechanic 1. On November 4, 1992, the Commission posted a job vacancy notice for the position of Paint Crew Foreman. Charles Christy subsequently applied for that position and on January 19, 1993, he was interviewed therefor by the defendants Boschi, Greco and Stewart. Although the pleadings and the record in this matter are silent as to the number of applicants who applied for the paint crew foreman job, it appears that the plaintiff was one of three final candidates found to be qualified by Boschi, Greco and Stewart and whose name was forwarded on to the commission's personnel committee for consideration. According to the plaintiff, regardless of the fact that he was the most qualified person for the job, the paint crew foreman position was awarded to one Sean Pilecki, who had only been employed by the Commission for the preceding 4 and 1/2 years but whose father, George Pilecki, had political ties to various high-ranking officials of the Philadelphia County branch of the Democratic Party. Plaintiff further alleges that he was also turned down for political reasons when he applied for the position of Eastern Division Equipment Supervisor in early 1993.
In response to the plaintiff's allegations of political bias, the defendants first contend that they made their hiring decisions on the basis of which candidate was the most and best qualified person for the job(s) for which the applications were being made. In addition, Defendants have raised a number of affirmative defenses to the plaintiff's lawsuit, including the defense of immunity from suit.
A. Legal Principles Applicable to Summary Judgment Motions.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) prescribes the appropriate principles to be applied by the district courts in determining motions for summary judgment. That rule states, in pertinent part:
. . .The judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. A summary judgment, interlocutory in character, may be rendered on the issue of liability alone although there is a genuine issue as to the amount of damages.
Under this rule, the courts must look beyond the bare allegations of the pleadings to ascertain if they have sufficient factual support to warrant their consideration at trial. Liberty Lobby, Inc. v. Dow Jones & Co., 267 U.S. App. D.C. 337, 838 F.2d 1287 (D.C.Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 825, 109 S. Ct. 75, 102 L. Ed. 2d 51 (1988). In making this determination, all of the facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and all reasonable inferences must be drawn in favor of that party as well. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986); U.S. v. Kensington Hospital, 760 F. Supp. 1120, 1126-1127 (E.D.Pa. 1991).
This is not to say, however, that the non-moving party may rest upon the allegations contained in his or her pleading in defense of a summary judgment motion. To the contrary, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e) states:
When a motion for summary judgment is made and supported as provided for in this rule, an adverse party may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleading, but the adverse party's response, by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule, must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. If the adverse party does not so respond, summary judgment, if appropriate, shall be entered against the adverse party.
Thus, while the moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, the non-movant must then establish the existence of each element of its case. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 2553, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265 (1986); J.F. Feeser, Inc. v. Serv-A-Portion, Inc., 909 F.2d 1524, 1531 (3rd Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 499 U.S. 921, 111 S. Ct. 1313, 113 L. Ed. 2d 246 (1991). In other words, for a plaintiff to avoid summary judgment, there must be sufficient evidence from which a jury could find for the ...