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CORRIGAN v. CACTUS INTL. TRADING CO.

August 26, 1991

MICHAEL J. CORRIGAN, Plaintiff,
v.
CACTUS INTERNATIONAL TRADING CO., an Arizona corporation, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BUA

 NICHOLAS J. BUA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Plaintiff Michael J. Corrigan brings this breach-of-contract action against his former employer, defendant Cactus International Trading Co. ("Cactus"). Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), Cactus has moved to dismiss this case for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Cactus also seeks Rule 11 sanctions, claiming that the lawsuit is frivolous. For the reasons stated herein, Cactus' motion to dismiss is granted in part and denied in part. Cactus' request for sanctions is denied.

 FACTS

 When ruling on a motion to dismiss, the court must accept as true all well-pleaded allegations in the plaintiff's complaint. Perkins v. Silverstein, 939 F.2d 463 (7th Cir. 1991). Thus, the following facts represent Corrigan's depiction of the course of events giving rise to his cause of action.

 Cactus is an Arizona corporation that sells ceramic tile throughout the United States. On August 21, 1990, the president of Cactus, Kirk Butler, contacted Corrigan with an offer of employment. Butler offered Corrigan the position of regional manager for the central United States region. Approximately two weeks later, Corrigan met with Butler at Cactus' headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. At this meeting, Butler outlined Corrigan's job responsibilities and other terms of employment.

 On September 7, 1990, Corrigan received a written offer of employment detailing the compensation package. The letter provided that Corrigan would be employed at a salary of $ 600 per week for the first three months, $ 700 per week for the next five months, and $ 800 per week thereafter. In addition, the letter provided details concerning commissions, profit sharing, insurance benefits, and leave time. These additional benefits were essentially tied to Corrigan's length of service with Cactus. For example, Cactus provided a graduated vacation schedule based on the number of years of employment with the company.

 Corrigan accepted the job offer and, on September 14, 1990, he resigned from his previous employment. Corrigan then attended Cactus' training program in Phoenix. From September 19-20, Cactus trained Corrigan. Cactus also promised to provide Corrigan with tile samples and other materials necessary to carry out his responsibilities as regional manager.

 Challenging the decision to terminate him, Corrigan filed a contract action against Cactus in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Cactus subsequently removed the case to federal court. Cactus now urges this court to dismiss Corrigan's complaint with sanctions.

 ANALYSIS

 I. Failure to State a Claim

 In moving to dismiss Corrigan's complaint, Cactus does not challenge the existence of an employment contract. Rather, it takes the position that no breach occurred.

 Corrigan alleges that Cactus breached the contract in three respects: 1) by summarily terminating him; 2) by failing to provide the necessary tile samples and other materials; and 3) by failing to "deal fairly and in good faith." Complaint, paras. ...


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