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Lawsuit against Bowman dropped

May 01, 2001

Lawsuit against Bowman dropped



By DAN KULIN

dank@herald-mail.com

A Mennonite man has dropped a religious discrimination lawsuit against D.M. Bowman Inc. in which he accused the Williamsport trucking company of refusing to let him take Sundays off.

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Edward Pipkin, of 13944 Broadfording Church Road, Hagerstown filed a $300,000 federal lawsuit against his former employer in September. He claimed the company failed to accommodate his religious practice by attempting to force him to work Sundays.

Robert Cianelli, chief information officer at D.M. Bowman, said Pipkin was never forced to work on a Sunday. Cianelli said Pipkin, a truck driver, was offered another job within the company when issues over possibly having to work on Sundays arose.

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"We vigorously defended this case because we did not discriminate," Cianelli said.

Pipkin dropped the case because he "felt that it was no longer in his interests to pursue the case," according to a statement from the Rutherford Institute, which was representing Pipkin.

D.M. Bowman attorney Stanley J. Reed said the lawsuit was dropped, not settled.

The Rutherford Institute is a private nonprofit organization based in Charlottesville, Va. The organization is best known for representing Paula Jones in her sexual harassment suit against former President Bill Clinton.

Pipkin worked for Bowman from 1994 to 1996. He returned to the company in July 1997 and quit April 9, 1998.

Pipkin could not be reached for comment Monday.

The lawsuit was filed Sept. 2 in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Judge Susan K. Gauvey granted Pipkin's motion to dismiss the claim on April 5.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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