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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Jane Anne Bryant worked for Lucent Technologies Inc., which is engaged in the business of telephone equipment sales. Bryant claimed that her supervisor instructed her to provide sales leads at no cost to certain dealers, while not providing similar leads to other dealers. This, she said, violated the Robinson-Patman Act, which prohibits price discrimination in the transactions involving the sale of goods or commodities. Bryant was subsequently terminated and she sued for wrongful termination, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery, negligent supervision, fraud and defamation. The trial court granted Lucent’s motion for summary judgment on the assault and battery, negligent supervision, fraud and defamation claims. The other claims went to trial. The trial court refused to allow Bryant to permit Bryant’s attorney to argue that the facts surrounding Bryant’s termination could be considered in deliberating on her intentional infliction of emotional distress claim. The trial court instructed Bryant’s attorney that he could say in closing arguments that Bryant and her supervisor disagreed over the application of the Robinson-Patman Act, but he could not argue that the supervisor forced Bryant to resign because she refused to engage in conduct she believed to be in violation of the act. The trial court subsequently granted Lucent’s motion for directed verdict on the wrongful termination claim, and a jury rendered a take-nothing verdict on the intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract claims. HOLDING:Affirmed in part; reversed and remanded in part. On the directed verdict for Lucent on the wrongful termination claim, the court finds that though Lucent sells goods and commodities � telephone equipment � the provision of sales leads does not constitute the sale of goods or commodities. Thus, without being able to establish that the Robinson-Patman Act was violated, Bryant cannot prove her wrongful termination claim. Turning next to the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, the court finds that Bryant’s testimony about her termination and the reasons for it is relevant to whether Bryant’s supervisor engaged in a course of conduct that was extreme and outrageous. Because this evidence is relevant, the court abused its discretion by refusing to permit Bryant’s counsel to discuss it in closing argument, the court rules. The court points out, however, that the trial court did allow Bryant’s attorney to argue that Bryant and her supervisor disagreed about compliance with the Robinson-Patman Act, that Bryant was concerned about violating the act, and that her supervisor forced Bryant to resign. The only thing the court did not permit Bryant’s counsel to do was directly argue that the supervisor forced Bryant to resign because she refused to do something she thought violated the act. The court finds that even if Bryant’s attorney had been allowed to argue on this extended basis, Bryant still would not have been able to establish her claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress as a matter of law. Consequently, the trial court’s error likely did not result in the rendition of an improper judgment. The court summarily upholds the trial court’s summary judgment for Lucent on the assault and battery claim, which was based on an attack Bryant said was directed by Lucent. Finally, the court rules that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to Lucent on Bryant’s defamation claim. The court finds that Lucent did not offer proof to support its affirmative defense of qualified privilege; rather, “its summary judgment motion erroneously suggested that Bryant bore the burden of proving actual malice to defeat Lucent’s affirmative defense.” OPINION:Felipe Reyna, J.; Gray, C.J., Vance and Reyna, JJ.

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