From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...
Agriss v. Roadway Express, Inc.
Superior Court of Pennsylvania
483 A.2d 456 (1984)
William Agriss (plaintiff) filed suit for defamation against his employer, Roadway Express, Inc. (Roadway) (defendant), after he received a company “warning letter” alleging that Agriss had opened company mail in violation of company policy. Agriss was a truck driver for Roadway and also served as a shop steward for the local union. For nearly a year after he received the letter Agriss received comments and questions about the document from Roadway employees and union officials. The accusation in the letter was false. However, despite Agriss’ claims of the falsity of the allegation, word spread throughout the company and Agriss’ general character for honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness was called into question. The letter was subsequently distributed to three managerial employees of Roadway and to a union representative. At trial, Agriss testified that in all his time as a union steward and having dealt with thousands of grievances, he had never heard of an employee’s being warned for opening company mail. Agriss further testified that such an accusation meant much more to company employees than possibly an average individual because it called into question Agriss’ character and impugned his reputation. The trial court held that the charge of “opening company mail” was not defamatory on its face to warrant imposition of liability for libel per se. Thus, the court concluded that Agriss was required to show extrinsic facts and circumstances imparting a defamatory meaning on the words and to specifically allege special damages. Because Agriss failed to do so, the trial court dismissed the complaint. Agriss appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cirillo, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 222,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.