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Herendeen v. Champion International Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
525 F.2d 130 (2d Cir. 1975)


James Herendeen (plaintiff) was a paper salesman for Nationwide Papers Incorporated (Nationwide) (defendant). On May 15, 1969, Herendeen resigned from his position in reliance on a promise from his employer that he would receive a new, written employment contract and continue to receive his benefits. When Herendeen did not receive a new contract, he brought suit in state court against U.S. Plywood-Champion Papers, Inc. (Champion) (defendant) and Nationwide, its subsidiary, alleging that the defendants had sought to defraud him of his benefits. Herendeen sought as damages $200,000 in lost commissions and $75,000 in lost pension benefits. The state court found that the complaint alleged an unenforceable, oral agreement to agree and, therefore, dismissed the case for Herendeen’s failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The state court did not reach the issue of damages. Herendeen later brought suit against Champion, Nationwide, and the trustees and administrators of his pension plan (defendants). Herendeen sought to receive payments he claimed he was entitled to under the regulations of his pension plan. The district court dismissed his claim on the ground of res judicata. Herendeen appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Waterman, J.)

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