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Jameson v. Sears Roebuck & Co.

United States District Court, District of Maine

June 11, 2014

STEPHEN P. JAMESON, Plaintiff
v.
SEARS ROEBUCK & CO., Defendant

STEPHEN P JAMESON represented by SANDRA HYLANDER COLLIER COLLIER LAW OFFICES, ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED.

SEARS HOLDINGS CORPORATION represented by FREDERICK B. FINBERG THE BENNETT LAW FIRM, ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED.

SEARS ROEBUCK & CO represented by FREDERICK B. FINBERG, ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED.

RECOMMENDED DECISION

John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge

In this action, Plaintiff Stephen Jameson seeks to recover damages allegedly resulting from Defendant Sears Roebuck & Co.’s decision to terminate Plaintiff’s employment. Plaintiff asserts four counts in his Amended Complaint: breach of contract (Count I); wrongful discharge (Count II); defamation of character (Count III); and violation of 26 M.R.S. § 631 (Count IV).

The matter is before the Court on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 12).[1] Through the motion, Defendant seeks the dismissal of the first three counts of Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint. Following a review of the pleadings, and after consideration of the parties’ arguments, as explained below, the recommendation is that the Court grant the motion as to Count II, limit the remedy available under Count III, and otherwise deny the motion.

Background Facts

The facts set forth herein are derived from Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint (ECF No. 8), which facts are deemed true when evaluating the Motion to Dismiss.[2] Beddall v. State St. Bank & Trust Co., 137 F.3d 12, 16 (1st Cir. 1998).

Plaintiff resides in Orrington, Maine, and worked for Defendant in its Bangor location for over 25 years, until October 2013. Defendant told Plaintiff in September 2013 that he improperly gave away free delivery service to customers without manager approval, despite previously encouraging Plaintiff to do exactly that in order to close sales. (Amended Complaint ¶¶ 1-9.) On October 4, 2013, Defendant fired Plaintiff “without warning or discipline and without giving him any reason.” (Id. ¶ 10.) Defendant also failed to provide Plaintiff with a copy of his personnel file. (Id. ¶ 11.)

Discussion

A. Standard of Review

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a party may seek dismissal of “a claim for relief in any pleading” if that party believes that the pleading fails “to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” In its assessment of the motion, the Court must “assume the truth of all well-plead facts and give the plaintiff[] the benefit of all reasonable inferences therefrom.” Blanco v. Bath Iron Works Corp., 802 F.Supp.2d 215, 221 (D. Me. 2011) (quoting Genzyme Corp. v. Fed. Ins. Co., 622 F.3d 62, 68 (1st Cir. 2010)). To overcome the motion, the plaintiff must establish that his allegations raise a plausible basis for a fact finder to conclude that the defendant is legally responsible for the claim(s) at issue. Id.

B. Discussion

I. Breach of Contract


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