Procedural Posture

Plaintiff professor sued defendant institute of technology, alleging he was constructively terminated, and alleging retaliation. The institute moved for summary judgment.

Overview

After an absence of eight months from his position at the institute, the professor resigned. He alleged he was constructively terminated for refusing to engage in unlawful conduct and whistle blowing. The court found that the professor could not prevail on his claims for constructive discharge in violation of public policy because he could not establish that his resignation amounted to a constructive termination as a matter of law. He identified no conditions that would have compelled a reasonable person to resign. The professor predicated his claim largely on a counseling memo and isolated incidents in which the institute president allegedly became angry with him, and alleged abuse by a dean. However, isolated acts of misconduct generally were insufficient to support a constructive termination claim. Also, the professor’s failure to receive a higher rating or salary increase formed no basis for a constructive termination claim; the professor received a rating consistent with those of prior years. To the extent the claim was based on the president’s and dean’s “hostile attitude” toward him, the claim also failed; the president assured the professor all was “OK.” Appellant was represented by a business lawyer.

Outcome

The court granted the motion.

Overview

This instant action arose out of a mortgage transaction. Plaintiff sued for, inter alia, fraud. Defendant bank moved to dismiss. The court granted the bank’s motion with leave to amend in part. The court held that plaintiff’s fraud claim was preempted by the Home Owners’ Loan Act. Plaintiff’s claim depended upon the basic allegation that the bank failed to disclose aspects of the loan or falsely advertised its own expertise or that of third parties. As such, these statements appeared to fall squarely within the preempted “disclosure and advertising” categories of 12 C.F.R. ยง 560.2(b)(9).

Outcome

The bank’s motion to dismiss was granted.