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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Kellie Pierce v. Zoetis, Inc. (ND Ind., Springmann), an 11-page opinion, Judge Rovner writes:

Kellie Pierce sued her former employer Zoetis, Incorporated and her former supervisor Lois Heuchert, alleging causes of action under Indiana state law. The district court dismissed Pierce’s amended complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Pierce appeals, arguing that she has stated a claim for tortious interference with a business relationship against her former supervisor Heuchert. Because the allegations in Pierce’s complaint fail to state a claim for tortious interference under Indiana law, we affirm. * * *

In short, none of the allegations in Pierce’s complaint could plausibly support a claim for tortious interference with a business relationship. The majority of the allegations in Pierce’s complaint pertain to acts taken within the scope of Heuchert’s supervisory duties, and thus cannot form the basis of her claim. Pierce is left only with the comments at the sales conference. As bizarre or inappropriate as Heuchert’s statements may have been, they are insufficient to supply the illegal act required for a tortious interference claim, and Pierce’s complaint was therefore properly dismissed.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 15, 2016 02:05 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions