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Jeff Diehl v. Urs Energy & Construction

February 29, 2012

JEFF DIEHL, PLAINTIFF(S),
v.
URS ENERGY & CONSTRUCTION, INC., AND RONNIE WALLS, DEFENDANT(S).



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Before the Court is Defendant Ronnie Walls' motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), and supporting memorandum (Docs. 10, 11). Plaintiff Jeff Diehl has filed a response (Doc. 15), to which Defendant Wall has filed a reply (Doc. 24).

1. Introduction

On June 3, 2011, Plaintiff Jeff Diehl filed suit against Defendants URS Energy & Construction, Inc., and Ronnie Walls in the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois. Defendants subsequently removed the action to this federal court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1441, based on federal question jurisdiction.

According to the Complaint (Doc. 2-1), Plaintiff Diehl, an active member of the Illinois Army National Guard, worked for URS, and Defendant Walls was his supervisor. Plaintiff Diehl was allegedly discharged from his job after returning from his annual two-week National Guard training session. Diehl alerted Defendants that his firing was illegal, and he brought the matter to the attention of authorities, including the Department of Labor. Diehl was then brought back to work for a short period of time, only to be terminated several days later. The five-count Complaint asserts claims under the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994, 38 U.S.C. § 4301, et seq., Veterans Re-employment Rights Act, 38 U.S.C. § 4301, et seq., the Family Military Leave Act, 820 ILCS 151/1, et seq., the Illinois Service Member's Employment Tenure Act, 330 ILCS 60/3, et seq., as well as a common law claim of tortious interference with the business expectancy of continued employment.

For purposes of Defendant Walls' motion, only Count V of the Complaint is relevant; it is the only claim against Walls. In pertinent part, Count V alleges:

14. Ronnie Walls terminated Diehl.

15. Diehl had a reasonable expectation of continued employment with URS.

16. Ronnie Walls knew of Diehl's expectation of continued employment with URS.

17. Walls terminated Diehl and therefore interfered with Diehl's economic relationship with URS for the purpose of defeating Diehl's expectations of continued employment with URS.

18. Walls acted maliciously with personal animosity against Diehl and Walls acted for his own personal interest contrary to those of URS when he terminated Diehl.

19. As a direct and proximate result of Walls's actions described herein, Diehl has suffered from a loss of past and future income and benefits, severe emotional distress and mental anxiety and other non-pecuniary losses, for all of which he should be compensated.

21. Walls acted with malice or reckless indifference and Diehl is entitled ...


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