Rogers v. Targot Telemarketing Services, No. 90AP-614

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
Writing for the CourtPEGGY L. BRYANT
Citation591 N.E.2d 1332,70 Ohio App.3d 689
PartiesROGERS, Appellant, v. TARGOT TELEMARKETING SERVICES et al., Appellees.
Decision Date18 December 1990
Docket NumberNo. 90AP-614

Page 689

70 Ohio App.3d 689
591 N.E.2d 1332
ROGERS, Appellant,
v.
TARGOT TELEMARKETING SERVICES et al., Appellees.
No. 90AP-614.
Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District, Franklin County.
Decided Dec. 18, 1990.

[591 N.E.2d 1333] John S. Marshall and James D. McNamara, Columbus, for appellant.

Martin, Pergram, Browning & Parker Co., L.P.A., and Dennis L. Pergram, Columbus, for appellees.

Page 691

PEGGY L. BRYANT, Judge.

Plaintiff-appellant, Mary L. Rogers, appeals from a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas granting the motion to dismiss of defendants-appellees, Targot Telemarketing Services and Nancy Wilson. Plaintiff's single assignment of error states:

"The Trial Court erred in granting Defendant's Civil Rule 12(B)(6) Motion to Dismiss where Plaintiff's complaint set forth a state of facts which would entitle her to relief on her wrongful discharge, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims."

On February 28, 1989, plaintiff filed a complaint against defendants asserting that defendants hired plaintiff away from another telemarketing service; that plaintiff accepted employment with defendants relying on defendants' representations that plaintiff would be required to work only part-time hours; and that she would have continued employment so long as the company was successful. Plaintiff's concern about hours emanated from her need to care for her child.

According to the complaint, plaintiff was employed as a sales coordinator for defendants from December 1986 until January 1989, when she was wrongfully terminated and without just cause. Plaintiff alleges that the representations defendants made to her "that she would have continued employment, were false, made repeatedly, and were made with the intent of causing Plaintiff to rely upon them." Plaintiff further asserts that the "said acts were done by Defendants knowingly and intentionally." As a result of those acts, plaintiff alleges that she has suffered "loss of employment and income, emotional distress, embarrassments, loss of benefits, wages and bonuses due to her inconvenience and expense."

Page 692

Thereafter, in plaintiff's complaint, she asserts, first, a claim of breach of contract, second, a claim of fraud, and third, a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

On April 30, 1990, defendants filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Civ.R. 12(B)(6). Specifically, defendants moved the court to dismiss part of plaintiff's first claim for relief, and all of her second and third claims for relief. According to the parties, immediately prior to trial the trial court granted defendants' motion to dismiss. Plaintiff then filed a voluntary dismissal as to the remaining bases for relief under the first claim of her complaint, and appealed the trial court's entry granting defendants' motion to dismiss.

In assessing the propriety of the trial court's action, we examine only the allegations of the complaint. Assuming those allegations to be true, as we must for purposes of a Civ.R. 12(B)(6) motion, we may affirm the trial court's dismissal of plaintiff's complaint only if no set of facts exists which would entitle plaintiff to relief under the allegations of her complaint. O'Brien v. Univ. Community Tenants Union (1975), 42 Ohio St.2d 242, 71 O.O.2d 223, 327 N.E.2d 753, syllabus.

Applying those parameters herein, we first examine the allegations of plaintiff's complaint in the context of a claim for breach of contract.

Under Ohio law, an express agreement of employment with no fixed duration is deemed at will, meaning that the employee is free to seek work elsewhere and that the employer may discharge the employee without cause. Henkel v. Educational Research Council (1976), 45 Ohio St.2d 249, 74 O.O.2d 415, 344 N.E.2d 118. However, in recent years, Ohio courts have carved out two exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine: implied contract and promissory estoppel. Mers v. Dispatch Printing Co. (1985), 19 Ohio St.3d 100, 19 OBR 261, 483 N.E.2d 150.

Preliminarily, we note that plaintiff's complaint alleges only a breach of contract; plaintiff does not assert by name [591 N.E.2d 1334] either the implied contract or promissory estoppel theories of recovery. However, "a complaint should not be dismissed merely because a plaintiff's allegations do not support the particular legal theory he advances, for the court is under a duty to examine the complaint to determine if the allegations provide for relief on any possible theory. Nor should a complaint be dismissed that does not state with precision all the elements that give rise to a legal basis for recovery." Thomas W. Garland, Inc. v. St. Louis (C.A.8, 1979), 596 F.2d 784. See, also, Innovative Digital Equipment, Inc. v. Quantum Technology, Inc. (N.D.Ohio 1984), 597 F.Supp. 983. Accordingly, despite plaintiff's failure to assert

Page 693

particularly the theories of implied contract and promissory estoppel, we examine her complaint under those theories as well.

While we agree with defendants that...

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47 practice notes
  • Kerr v. Hurd, Case No. 3:07-cv-297.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • March 15, 2010
    ...entirely appropriately be dealt with on summary judgment or in a motion to dismiss. See, e.g., Rogers v. Targot Telemarketing Servs., 70 Ohio App.3d 689, 591 N.E.2d 1332, 1333, 1336 (1990) (treating plaintiff's allegations that she was falsely promised continued employment with the intentio......
  • Valente v. UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON, Case No. 3:08-cv-225.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Southern District of West Virginia
    • January 4, 2010
    ...entirely appropriately be dealt with on summary judgment or in a motion to dismiss. See, e.g., Rogers v. Targot Telemarketing Servs., 70 Ohio App.3d 689, 591 N.E.2d 1332, 1333, 1336 (1990) (treating plaintiff's allegations that she was falsely promised continued employment with the intentio......
  • Griswold v. Fresenius Usa, Inc., No. 3:96 CV 7241.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • February 20, 1997
    ...to support a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress on a motion to dismiss. See Rogers v. Targot Telemarketing Servs., 70 Ohio App.3d 689, 695, 591 N.E.2d 1332, 1335 Plaintiff here alleges that Defendant Kinder made sexual comments to Plaintiff such as "give me a kiss" and "y......
  • Snyder v. United States, No. 1:13–cv–00284.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • January 7, 2014
    ...be dealt with on summary judgment or in a motion to dismiss.” Id. at 377–78 (citing Rogers v. Targot Telemarketing Servs., 70 Ohio App.3d 689, 691, 695–96, 591 N.E.2d 1332, 1333, 1335–36 (1990) (emphasis added)). And we believe the simplest approach is to focus on the second element of the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
47 cases
  • Kerr v. Hurd, Case No. 3:07-cv-297.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • March 15, 2010
    ...entirely appropriately be dealt with on summary judgment or in a motion to dismiss. See, e.g., Rogers v. Targot Telemarketing Servs., 70 Ohio App.3d 689, 591 N.E.2d 1332, 1333, 1336 (1990) (treating plaintiff's allegations that she was falsely promised continued employment with the intentio......
  • Valente v. UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON, Case No. 3:08-cv-225.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Southern District of West Virginia
    • January 4, 2010
    ...entirely appropriately be dealt with on summary judgment or in a motion to dismiss. See, e.g., Rogers v. Targot Telemarketing Servs., 70 Ohio App.3d 689, 591 N.E.2d 1332, 1333, 1336 (1990) (treating plaintiff's allegations that she was falsely promised continued employment with the intentio......
  • Griswold v. Fresenius Usa, Inc., No. 3:96 CV 7241.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • February 20, 1997
    ...to support a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress on a motion to dismiss. See Rogers v. Targot Telemarketing Servs., 70 Ohio App.3d 689, 695, 591 N.E.2d 1332, 1335 Plaintiff here alleges that Defendant Kinder made sexual comments to Plaintiff such as "give me a kiss" and "y......
  • Snyder v. United States, No. 1:13–cv–00284.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • January 7, 2014
    ...be dealt with on summary judgment or in a motion to dismiss.” Id. at 377–78 (citing Rogers v. Targot Telemarketing Servs., 70 Ohio App.3d 689, 691, 695–96, 591 N.E.2d 1332, 1333, 1335–36 (1990) (emphasis added)). And we believe the simplest approach is to focus on the second element of the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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