Logourl black
From our private database of 14,000+ case briefs...

Wilson v. Monarch Paper Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
939 F.2d 1138 (1991)


Facts

In 1970, when he was 48, Richard Wilson (plaintiff) joined Monarch Paper Co. (Monarch) (defendant), a division of Unisource Corporation (defendant), which was itself a division of Alco Standard Corporation (Alco) (defendant). Wilson managed Monarch’s Corpus Christi division until 1977, when he was promoted to a corporate director position at the company’s Houston offices. In 1980, he was named Vice President. In 1981, he was given the additional title of Assistant to John Blankenship, Monarch’s president. Wilson’s performance was always highly regarded. In 1981, he managed the company’s largest construction project to date, completing it under budget. That same year, Monarch installed a new president, 42-year-old Hamilton Bisbee. There was much talk around that time about the age of the company’s management and about promoting younger people. Bisbee and the 43-year-old president of Unisource, Richard Gozon, wanted to get rid of Wilson. Bisbee refused to speak to or acknowledge him. Bisbee and Gozon gradually gave Wilson’s duties to other people. In or around June 1982, Bisbee presented Wilson with three options: (1) be terminated with three months’ severance, (2) take a sales position in Corpus Christi at half his pay, or (3) take a warehouse supervisor position in Houston at the same pay but with a loss of benefits including participation in the bonus program, a company car, an expense account, and a club membership. Wilson accepted the warehouse position, believing he would be the warehouse manager. In actuality, he was given an entry-level position that required less than one year’s experience. Wilson had a college degree and 30 years’ experience in the industry. His supervisor at the warehouse routinely harassed and verbally abused him, including by making and posting derogatory statements about his age. Wilson was put in charge of housekeeping at the warehouse with no employees to help him. Consequently, 75 percent of his workload was spent doing menial labor including sweeping the building and cleaning the cafeteria. Wilson began experiencing respiratory problems from the dust in the warehouse. He was also diagnosed with reactive depression from the stress of his work environment. Wilson had no prior psychological problems. In March 1983, he had a psychological episode that resulted in involuntary hospitalization. He developed a long-lasting depression that required further hospitalization and electric-shock therapy. In February 1984, Wilson sued Monarch, Unisource, and Alco. A jury found defendants liable for discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress under Texas law. Defendants appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Jolly, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. 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.

  2. 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 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.