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Regenye v. Hardware Resources

July 30, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: DuBOIS, J.



This is a diversity action in which plaintiff, Brian Regenye, asserts in his Amended Complaint that defendant, Hardware Resources, Inc., is liable for terminating his employment under theories of promissory estoppel and wrongful termination.

Presently before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. The parties have engaged in discovery and submitted their respective statements of material undisputed facts. Thus, the case is ripe for disposition by motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted; Defendant's Alternative Motion to Dismiss is denied as moot.


The following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted and are presented in the light most favorable Regenye.

A. Regenye's Hiring by Hardware Resources

Plaintiff, Brian Regenye, lives with his family in West Chester, Pennsylvania (Deposition of Brian Regenye 8 (hereinafter "Regenye Dep."). In early 2008, he worked as a salesman for AllState Legal. (Regenye Dep. 22.) In the summer of 2008, Regenye decided that it was time for something new. (Regenye Dep. 22.) He began searching the internet for information about job openings and soon found a job posting by defendant, Hardware Resources, on the website (Def.'s Statement of Material Undisputed Facts ¶ 2; Pl.'s Answer to Defendant's Statement of Material Undisputed Facts ¶ 2.) (hereinafter, "Def.'s Stmt." and "Pl.'s Stmt."). Hardware Resources is a Louisiana-based company that designs, manufactures and sells cabinet and furniture hardware. (Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 1; Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 1.)

The job posting advertised an opportunity at Hardware Resources as a sales representative in the "Eastern Pennsylvania and Northern New Jersey" region. (Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 2; Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 2.) The posting explained that applicants "must be willing and have the ability to travel as needed to accomplish your mission . . . [o]ne to two nights per week is average for most of our team." (Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 3; Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 3.)

Regenye e-mailed Hardware Resources about the position as a sales representative on June 2, 2008, and received a response from Paul Haberstock, Hardware Resources Sales Administrative Manager -- East, on June 19, 2008. (Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 4; Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 4.) The two met for an interview on June 20, 2008. (Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 5; Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 5.) Over the course of the following week, Regenye and Haberstock discussed the position in greater detail. (Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 6; Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 6.) Regenye made it clear that he was not interested in the position if he would have to travel overnight more than one or two times per month. (Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 6.) He also told Habersock that he would only take the position if the sales area did not extend more than two and a half hours from his home. (Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 6.)

On June 27, 2008, Regenye interviewed with Jeffrey Lowe, the President of Hardware Resources, and Charles Hiers, Hardware Resources's Vice President of Sales, via videoconference. (Def.' Stmt. ¶ 7; Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 7.) The next day, Regenye received an e-mail from Ann Johnson, Human Resources Director for Hardware Resources, offering him the job. The offer letter stated that Regenye would receive a salary of $55,000 plus a monthly sales commission and a monthly car allowance. (Def.'s Ex. A.) It also explained that "[n]othing in this letter will be construed as a guarantee of continuing employment for any specified period. The employment is at will and will be terminable by you or the Company at any time." (Def.'s Ex. A.) Regenye reviewed the letter and objected only to the $55,000 base salary: he had been told by Haberstock that the salary would be $65,000. When informed of the error, Haberstock told Regenye to write in the sum of $65,000 on the letter, which Regenye did. (Def.'s Stmt. ¶¶ 10, 11; Pl.'s Stmt. ¶¶ 10,11; Def.'s Ex. A.) The parties agree that Regenye never objected to the at-will nature of the employment offer. (Def.' Stmt. ¶ 8; Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 8.)

Regenye accepted the job at Hardware Resources on June 30, 2008 by signing the offer letter. (Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 13; Pl.'s Stmt. ¶13.) He then voluntarily resigned his position with All-State Legal. (Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 14; Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 14.) Regenye was not required to relocate along with his family in order to take the position. (Def.' Stmt. ¶ 15; Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 15.)

B. Regenye's Employment at Hardware Resources and his Termination

Upon being hired, Regenye was given a copy of Hardware Resources's employee handbook. (Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 16; Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 16.) The handbook explained Hardware ...

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