Dugan v. Cumberland Farms, Inc., et al.

A clerk complained to the Town of Weymouth Board of Health about the illegal smoking by her manager in the store.  Within two weeks after the Weymouth Health Department inspected the store, the clerk was terminated, purportedly for unspecified misconduct cited by unnamed customers who complained to the store about the clerk.  In addition to banning smoking in retail food outlets, Weymouth’s regulation also prohibits retaliation against anyone for exercising rights under the regulation.  The clerk sued the store, her manager and the regional manager, alleging violations of the Weymouth regulation, infringement on her First Amendment right to petition her local government, intentional infliction of emotional distress and intentional interference with contractual relations.  See Hamblett, M., “Fuming About a Firing,” Patriot Ledger, November 10, 1995, 1, 9; and Hamblett, M., “Cumberland Asks Court to Dismiss Smoke Suit” Patriot Ledger, February 1, 1996, 7.  The case was later dismissed without prejudice.

Norfolk Cty. (MA) Superior Ct., Civil Action No. 95-02370 (1995).