ERIE – A federal judge has permitted parts of a complaint against a Pennsylvania veterinarian to be struck, saying they did not relate to the case.
Judge Arthur Schwab, of U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, filed his decision on June 30.
University Veterinary Specialists (UVS) was sued by former employee Rory Lubold after he was fired from his job as a co-chief veterinary medical officer.
Lubold claimed a breach of contract, violation of the state’s wage payment and collection law and tortious interference with a contract. In his claim, he cited that one of the business' founders, Anthony Horbal, was a convicted felon. Lubold defended these comments in his litigation as reflecting on the credibility of Horbal.
Horbal filed a motion to strike, claiming the comments were “immaterial and scandalous” and that they were not relevant to the case.
Schwab wrote that the paragraphs did not relate to the claims the plaintiff was making against the defendant.
Horbal and UVS also filed a motion to dismiss the tortious interference claim.
The court found there was enough support for Lubold's first two claims but dismissed the interference claim.
“Based on the facts set forth in the complaint, the court finds that there are no factual averments which could legally support the second element of a tortious interference claim,” the opinion reads.
Lubold originally filed his complaint in April. In it, he noted that Horbal terminated him based on “poor work ethic” and “failure to perform.” There was also a question about Lubold’s persistent vacationing from the job that led to the company letting him go.
UVS is a 24-hour animal care center in Pittsburgh that looks after dogs, cats and horses in the Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland region. It first opened in July 2016.