811 F.2d 1336 (9th Cir. 1987), 85-6332, McCabe v. General Foods Corp.

Docket Nº:85-6332.
Citation:811 F.2d 1336
Party Name:7 Fed.R.Serv.3d 882, 1 Indiv.Empl.Rts.Cas. 1632 Samuel
Case Date:March 05, 1987
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 1336

811 F.2d 1336 (9th Cir. 1987)

7 Fed.R.Serv.3d 882,

1 Indiv.Empl.Rts.Cas. 1632

Samuel "Wesley" McCABE, and John Elson, Plaintiffs/Appellants,


GENERAL FOODS CORPORATION, Alan Moltz, Abner Ladson and Does

1-100, Defendants/Appellees.

No. 85-6332.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

March 5, 1987

Argued Nov. 6, 1986.

Submitted Nov. 25, 1986.

As Amended May 18, 1987.

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John Elson, Los Angeles, Cal., Charlotte Costan, Burbank, Cal., for plaintiffs/appellants.

Stuart Linnick, Mark Wasserman, Los Angeles, Cal., for defendants/appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Before ALARCON, BRUNETTI and NOONAN, Jr., Circuit Judges.

NOONAN, Circuit Judge:

Samuel "Wesley" McCabe brought an action against his former employer, General Foods Corporation (General Foods) and two of its managers, Alan Moltz and Abner Ladson, and 100 unidentified Does, alleging wrongful discharge and injuries connected with this discharge and seeking damages of $100 million. The district court dismissed Moltz and Ladson and gave summary judgment for General Foods. We affirm.

Background. In 1955 McCabe went to work for General Foods as a laborer at its Los Angeles facility and worked there until 1971. He then opened up his own motel and swimming pool business, and was eventually employed as an officer in the Arizona Sheriff's Department. In 1976 he returned to work for General Foods as a production foreman. In 1981 he voluntarily quit and went to work in Mexico without any connection with General Foods. In December 1982, returning to California, he was again hired by General Foods as a production foreman. In April 1983 he was involuntarily terminated, leading to this lawsuit.

Moltz was the operations manager of the plant and the person who fired McCabe. Ladson was a production manager at the plant and McCabe's immediate superior. In his suit, brought February 1984 in a state court, McCabe alleged that the discharge "was wrongful and motivated by the ill will and malice of defendants Moltz and Ladson who were managerial employees of defendant General Foods, and whose wrongful conduct was ratified by defendant General Foods, and Does 1 through 100."

General Foods is a Delaware corporation. McCabe, Moltz and Ladson are residents of California. General Foods removed the case to the federal court, contending that there was no basis in California law for imposing liability on Moltz and Ladson, so

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that their presence in the suit did not defeat diversity. McCabe moved to remand. On September 26, 1984 the district court denied the motion to remand. On November 28, 1984 the district court ruled to eliminate Moltz and Ladson from the federal case as fraudulently-joined defendants.

McCabe moved to file an amended complaint which stated that Moltz and Ladson had "wilfully and maliciously" "induced" General Foods to fire McCabe and that they had done so "in order to protect themselves and solely in their own self-interest." The proffered amended complaint eliminated the allegation that General Foods had ratified the action of Moltz and Ladson. The district court denied the motion to amend, found that the motion had violated Rule 11, and awarded General Foods $2,500 in fees and $300 in costs, jointly payable by McCabe and his counsel.

On June 24, 1985, the district court granted a motion for summary judgment for General Foods. On September 27, 1985, McCabe appealed from the order awarding sanctions and from the judgment "to be entered" in favor of General...

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