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Blackburn v. United Parcel Service, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
179 F.3d 81 (1999)


Facts

Blackburn (plaintiff) was fired from his job with United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) (defendant). Blackburn sued, claiming he was fired in violation of a state whistleblower statute after he told his supervisors about the company’s possible antitrust violations. UPS claimed Blackburn was terminated for violating the company’s anti-nepotism rule when he failed to disclose that a person he had recommended for positions within UPS was his sister-in-law. To demonstrate that UPS’s stated reason for his termination was pretextual and avoid summary judgment, Blackburn claimed UPS did not consistently enforce its anti-nepotism policy. To support his claim, Blackburn testified that he had heard of several examples of UPS employees who also had relatives working at UPS. Blackburn had no personal knowledge of the family relationships of these other employees. Instead, he testified as to one set, Bill and Art Weyrauch, who he knew and numerous other people knew were brothers. As for the rest of the employees on the list, Blackburn could not identify a specific family relationship for any of them, and in some cases, he could not identify the name of the employee’s relative and did not identify where at UPS they worked. The trial court found the evidence inadmissible and granted summary judgment for UPS. Blackburn appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in finding his testimony about the other employees’ relatives inadmissible.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Becker C.J.)

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