Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Skelley v. Fedex Corporate Services, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Clarksburg

May 1, 2019

DANIEL SKELLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
FEDEX CORPORATE SERVICES, INC., and FEDEX GROUND PACKAGE SYSTEM, INC., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS BY FEDEX GROUND PACKAGE SYSTEM, INC. [ECF NO. 4]

          THOMAS S. KLEEH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court is Defendant FedEx Ground Package System, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint Pursuant to Rule 12(B)(6) [ECF No. 4]. The Motion is now fully briefed and ripe for consideration. On April 23, 2019, the Court held a hearing on the Motion. For the reasons discussed below and the reasons listed by the Court at the hearing, the Court GRANTS the Motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The following facts are drawn from the Complaint. For purposes of the Motion to Dismiss filed by FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. [ECF No. 4], they are regarded as true.

         Plaintiff Daniel Skelley (“Skelley”) filed a one-count complaint against FedEx Corporate Services (“FedEx Corporate Services”) and FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx Ground”), alleging wrongful discharge under Harless v. First National Bank of Fairmont, 246 S.E.2d 270 (1978). See Compl. at ¶ 4(a).[1] FedEx Corporate Services and FedEx Ground are separate subsidiaries of FedEx Corporation. ¶ 10. In 1997, Skelley was hired by Roadway Package System, Inc. (known as “RPS”), which was acquired by FedEx in 1998. ¶ 15. Skelley eventually became an employee of FedEx Corporate Services and remained employed by FedEx Corporate Services from 2005 to 2016. ¶ 13, 15. In 2005, Skelley took over responsibility for a “significant customer” called Your Kentucky Tobacco Resource, Inc. (“YKTR”). ¶ 17. FedEx Corporate Services and FedEx Ground had shipped cigarettes for YKTR since 2002. Id.

         In the early 2000s, New York City and New York State (the “New York Plaintiffs”), along with the New York Attorney General, were investigating companies -- including FedEx -- for violations of cigarette excise tax laws. ¶ 34. The New York Plaintiffs had imposed an excise tax on cigarettes possessed for sale or use in the State or City of New York. ¶¶ 27-33. It was illegal for cigarette retailers to ship cigarettes directly to consumers. Id.

         Around 2005 and 2006, Skelley began to inquire within the FedEx organization about the propriety of shipping cigarettes for YKTR in light of legal issues facing FedEx and other common carriers. ¶ 18. In February 2006, FedEx entered into an Assurance of Compliance (“AOC”) with the New York Attorney General, agreeing to a number of terms, including compliance with New York laws moving forward. ¶ 36. In response to Skelley's inquiries within FedEx, he was told that as long as FedEx Corporate Services complied with the FedEx “tariff, ” the shipments would be acceptable. ¶ 18.

         In December 2013, law enforcement officers discovered evidence that YKTR was illegally shipping packages to consumers in New York via FedEx. ¶ 41. The city of New York then filed a lawsuit against FedEx, alleging violations of federal laws, state laws, and later, via amendment, breach of the AOC. ¶ 42. By 2016, the New York Plaintiffs had filed a series of lawsuits (starting in 2013) against FedEx Ground, seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, over the alleged illegal shipment of cigarettes by FedEx Ground. ¶ 58.

         In 2016, management at FedEx Corporate Services informed Skelley that the New York Plaintiffs wanted to depose him. ¶¶ 60, 62. He was instructed to meet with two in-house FedEx lawyers in Pittsburgh to “prepare” for the deposition. Id. On October 11, 2016, Skelley met with the lawyers and told them the following:

• that Skelley had inherited the YKTR account in 2005;
• that FedEx Corporate Services and FedEx Ground were shipping cigarettes for YKTR;
• that YKTR told Skelley it was shipping only to legally authorized customers;
• that Skelley had received minimal guidance on dealing with these issues; and
• that Skelley had made inquiries within the company about what, if anything, needed to be done to manage the account differently in light of ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.