Submitted: May 22, 2019
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment DENIED.
W. Aber, Esq. (Argued), Attorney for Plaintiff
Randall S. MacTough, Esq., James D. Taylor, Jr., Esq.,
William E. Manning, Esq. (Argued), Saul, Ewing, Arnstein,
& Lehr, LLP, Attorneys for Defendant
Honorable Mary M. Johnston, Judge.
AND FACTUAL CONTEXT
action involves an employment dispute between Plaintiff and
Defendant. The facts are presumed in favor of Plaintiff for
purposes of this motion. Plaintiff was employed by Defendant
as a bus driver. On various occasions, Plaintiff reported
safety violations or dangerous conditions existing on her bus
to her supervisors. Plaintiff alleges that after she brought
these issues to her supervisors' attention, they began to
harass her. Plaintiff filed a formal, written complaint with
University of Delaware's Human Resources Department in
was involved in an accident in April 2016. According to
Plaintiff, a rider falsely alleged that Plaintiff closed an
automatic door on her improperly. Following the rider's
allegations, Plaintiff was arrested, but the charges were
dropped. Defendant terminated Plaintiff shortly thereafter.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant caused Plaintiff to be
arrested, and that action was wrongful. Plaintiff also
alleges that Defendant's termination of Plaintiff
violates Delaware's Whistleblower Protection Act.
Defendant has moved for summary judgment.
judgment is granted only if the moving party establishes that
there are no genuine issues of material fact in dispute and
judgment may be granted as a matter of law. All facts are
viewed in a light most favorable to the non-moving
party. Summary judgment may not be granted if the
record indicates that a material fact is in dispute, or if
there is a need to clarify the application of law to the
specific circumstances. When the facts permit a reasonable
person to draw only one inference, the question becomes one
for decision as a matter of law. If the non-moving party
bears the burden of proof at trial, yet "fails to make a
showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to that party's case," then summary
judgment may be granted against that party.
Whistleblower Protection Act
II is brought under the provisions of Delaware's
Whistleblower Protection Act ("DWPA"), \9 Del.
C. § 1701 et. seq. The statute provides protection
to employees pursuant to 19 Del. C. § 1703:
An employer shall not discharge, threaten, or otherwise
discriminate against an employee regarding the employee's
compensation, terms, conditions, ...