KATHRYN J. REITZ
CITY OF MT. JULIET
Assigned on Briefs Augsut 1, 2017
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Wilson County No.
2013-CV-146 John D. Wootten, Jr., Judge
alleged that the City of Mt. Juliet breached a settlement
agreement with her by violating a non-disparagement
agreement. Because Plaintiff failed to prove the existence of
damages, summary judgment was appropriate. We affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Affirmed and Remanded
D. MacPherson, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kathryn
W. Blair and Charles Stephen Michels, II, Nashvlle,
Tennessee, for the appellee, City of Mt. Juliet.
Brandon O. Gibson, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Richard H. Dinkins, and Thomas R. Frierson, II, JJ.,
BRANDON O. GIBSON, JUDGE
Wilson County Circuit Court granted summary judgment in favor
of Appellee, the City of Mt. Juliet, and Plaintiff/Appellant
Kathryn J. Reitz appeals.
Reitz and the City entered into a settlement agreement in
January 2010 that contained a non-disparagement agreement and
required the City to provide neutral employment
verifications. Ms. Reitz began working for the Transportation
Security Administration on January 30, 2012. On or around
February 7, 2012, the City provided the TSA, through the
United States Office of Personnel Management, with
information that Ms. Reitz claims violated the
Reitz filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Wilson
County, Tennessee in March 2013, alleging that the City
breached its contract with her "by making disparaging
remarks about [her] to prospective employers and by giving
distinctly negative, and not neutral, employment
verifications." During the course of the litigation, Ms.
Reitz amended her complaint multiple times, and she
ultimately proceeded on two claims: breach of contract and
City filed a motion for summary judgment. For purposes of the
motion for summary judgment only, the City conceded that the
contract was breached and that a duty had been breached.
However, it argued Ms. Reitz failed to establish the
existence of damages. The City argued that the TSA hired Ms.
Reitz, she was not demoted, nor did she suffer a reduction in
pay or any change in work schedule or job duties as a result
of the City's allegedly disparaging employment
verification. While Ms. Reitz testified in her deposition
that she previously sought employment elsewhere, the City
asserted that she could not provide any proof that any
potential employers declined to hire her as a result of
information from the City.
Ms. Reitz responded to the City's motion for summary
judgment, she admitted that her employment with the TSA was
not negatively impacted by the City's disparaging
remarks. She admitted that she did not know of any occasion
other than the TSA form when any City employee provided
anything other than a neutral employment verification to any
prospective employer. Ms. Reitz also admitted that she did
not have any written documentation that verified that she
lost any income or did not obtain any employment
opportunities because of comments made by the City. However,
she argued that a finder of fact should be allowed to
"draw the reasonable inference from the ...