Sawyer v. DuPont presented employee claims of fraudulent inducement to leave jobs with DuPont for new positions at a wholly-owned subsidiary. No. 11-40454 (April 20, 2012). The Court began by reminding of the deference for intermediate appellate opinions in making an “Erie guess” about state law — here, the “at will” employment doctrine in Texas and its prohibition of fraudulent inducement claims about employment relationships. Op. at 5. Based on intermediate court authority, the Court concluded that a CBA that was terminable on notice did not change the employees’ at-will status, which thus barred their claims. Op. at 9. The Court also found that oral representations to another group of employees were not sufficiently definite to change their at-will status, citing Montgomery County Hospital District v. Brown, 965 SW.2d 501 (Tex. 1998). Op. at 10. Summary judgment for DuPont was affirmed.
Recent Related Posts