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.

Petty v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

March 28, 2017

MATTHEW PETTY
v.
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF BALTIMORE CITY, et al.

          Arthur, Shaw Geter, Thieme, Raymond G., Jr. (Senior Judge, Specially Assigned), JJ.

          OPINION

          THIEME, J.

         Matthew Petty, appellant, appeals from an order issued by the Circuit Court for Baltimore City granting summary judgment in favor of appellees, the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, several employees of the Baltimore City Fire Department, and the Baltimore City Professional Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 734. Appellant presents one argument on appeal: Did the circuit court err in entering summary judgment against him? For the reasons that follow, we shall affirm.

         FACTS

         On August 13, 2015, appellant filed a four-count complaint in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City against the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore (the "City"); four employees of the Baltimore City Fire Department ("BCFD"), specifically, Jeffrey Segal, Mark Wagner, James Wallace, and Charles Dwyer; and the Baltimore City Professional Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 734 (the "Union"). Appellant had been an employee with the BCFD from September 18, 1995, until April 15, 2015, when he was discharged. During his employment, appellant had risen through the ranks, and at the time of his discharge he was an emergency vehicle driver assigned to a HAZMAT unit. It is not disputed that appellant was a dues paying member of the Union at all relevant times.

         The first count of appellant's complaint was an action for intentional infliction of emotional distress against each of the defendants. He alleged that during his employment he was subject to "unjustified, illegal and malicious harassment" by Wagner, Wallace, and Dwyer, that caused, without elaboration, "certain disciplinary actions" and "disparate adverse treatment" to be made against him; "cast [asper]sions" on his character; and violated his rights to seek assistance from his Union. He alleged that the City, the BCFD, and Segal, Assistant Chief of the BCFD, acquiesced in those actions.

         The second count alleged tortious interference with contract and was against Wagner, Wallace, and Dwyer, who allegedly induced the BCFD to "breach its contractual obligations" regarding employment opportunities and promotions for appellant. Appellant alleged, again without elaboration, that as a result of those employees' actions he was removed from his position and forced to resign.

         The third count alleged negligence by: 1) the City, the BFCD, and Segal for allowing the three named employees to harass appellant; and 2) the City and the BFCD for failing to provide appropriate medical care to appellant for the work-related injury to his right hand and thumb, which caused "serious permanent disability, " and in failing to properly process appellant's retirement claim.

         The fourth count alleged breach of contract and alleged that the Union failed to represent him in his employment claims.

         Appellees responded by moving for summary judgment. In support of their motion appellees argued, among other things, that appellant had failed to exhaust administrative remedies before filing the action in circuit court; appellant's tort claim was barred by the Maryland Workers' Compensation Act ("MWCA"), see Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. §§ 9-101, et. seq.; and appellant's tortious interference with contract claim against the three named employees was not actionable because the employees were parties to the contract with the City. Appellees clarified that appellant was removed by administrative action for two reasons. First, he was deemed no longer fit for duty by the opinion of the Medical Director of the Mercy Medical Center Public Safety Infirmary due to the injury to his hand. Second, appellant had exhausted his paid leave (from January 8, 2014 to April 15, 2015) for a line of duty injury and had to either return to work, be separated from City employment, or challenge his status by means of an internal appeal or grievance, which he has not done.

         The Circuit Court for Baltimore City agreed with appellees and entered summary judgment against appellant on grounds that he did not exhaust his administrative and contractual remedies.

         DISCUSSION

         Appellant argues on appeal that the circuit court's ruling was in error, because the ruling was "erroneously predicated on the assumption" that his claims were "within the scope of available administrative and contractual remedies." Appellees preliminarily respond that appellant has waived his appeal because he has cited no case law to support his argument. Even if appellant's argument is preserved, appellees argue that the circuit court's ruling was correct - appellant was required and failed to exhaust available remedies under the Baltimore City Charter, Art. VII, § 100, and Arts. 6 and 12 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and the Union and the MWCA.

         We will quickly dismiss appellees' waiver argument. Md. Rule 8-504, governing the content of appellate briefs, contains no requirement that an appellant must cite case law in support of his arguments. Anderson v. Litzenberg, 115 Md.App. 549, 577-78 (1997), the main case cited by appellees for its waiver argument, stands for the proposition that where a brief only recites facts and does not relate those facts to a legal theory, we shall not address the potential merits of the argument presented. Here, appellant contests the lower court's grant of summary judgment. Appellant cites several cases regarding the standard of review for summary judgment and ...


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.