Weir v. Anaconda Co.

773 F.2d 1073



A mere assertion that the evidence supporting a party's allegation is in the hands of the opposing party is insufficient to justify a denial of a motion for summary judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(f). The party filing the affidavit must show how additional time will enable him to rebut movant's allegations of no genuine issue of fact.


The plaintiff, Robert Weir, was an employee of the defendant, The Anaconda Company from 1957 until his termination on September 10, 1979, which became effective November 30, 1979. During his employment with Anaconda, he participated in company stock option and savings plans. The plaintiff brought suit against Anaconda to recover benefits under the savings fund and the stock option plans. The plaintiff's complaint alleged four counts. First, he asserted a claim for benefits under the stock option plan. Second, he claimed that some benefits under the savings plan were unjustly withheld. Third, he asserted a claim for tortious interference with contractual rights. Fourth, he averred that benefits under the stock option plan and savings plan were wages under Kansas law. The defendant moved for summary judgment and conversely, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment and filed a response to Anaconda's summary judgment motion. The court granted the defendant summary judgment on Counts I, III and IV. II R. 244. As to Count II, which was plaintiff's claim under the savings plan, the court remanded to the Administrative Committee responsible for reviewing claims under the savings fund plan for their decision and a report to the court. The Committee determined that plaintiff was entitled to benefits under the plan. The district court, therefore, granted plaintiff summary judgment on Count II.


Did the district court err in its decision to grant summary judgment in favor of the appellees for Counts I, III and IV of the plaintiff’s complaint?




The Court held that the district court properly granted summary judgment, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56, because there was sufficient evidence to prove that appellant had been terminated for cause. The Court held that appellees had lawfully imposed a condition precedent upon appellant regarding appellees' obligation to pay appellant employment benefits. The Court held that appellant's failure to provide the requisite two weeks' notice negated any determination that such accrued vacation time constituted earned wages. Moreover, the Court held that benefits under a stock option plan were not commissions or vacation pay within the definition of wages, and that appellees were not required to pay such benefits to appellant after appellant's termination.

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