COA upholds dismissal of proposed class

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Potential plaintiffs who want to join a class action suit seeking redress under the state's Wage Claims Statute must first submit a claim to the Indiana Department of Labor, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld today.

The ruling comes seven months after another appellate panel ruled in Lemon v. Wishard Health Services, 902 N.E.2d, 297 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009), that anyone who wants to file a lawsuit in court or join a class action suit under the Wage Claims Statute has to first submit their claim to the DOL. In upholding that decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the proposed class of plaintiffs who haven't sought review and referral from the DOL in Maureen Reel, Thomas Dullen, and Ned Milby, on Behalf of Themselves and All Others Similarly Situated v. Clarian Health Partners Inc., No. 49A02-0901-CV-112.

Maureen Reel, Thomas Dullen, and Ned Milby filed their complaints under the Wage Claims Statute against Clarian Health Partners on behalf of themselves and all others who were paid their paid time off (PTO) wages on or after July 11, 2003. Their suit claimed Clarian paid out the PTO after the pay date for the pay period in which they were involuntarily separated, which would violate the Wage Claims Statute.

Clarian was initially granted summary judgment on the claims, but the appellate court reversed with respect to Reel, Dullen, and Milby. Those three had initially submitted their claim to the DOL.

The trial court did grant summary judgment to Clarian in a separate ruling in regards to the class claims. The named plaintiffs argued on appeal that despite the ruling in Lemon, in which transfer was pending at the time they filed their brief, but was denied by the time Clarian filed its brief, the members of the proposed class action weren't required to file their wage claims with the DOL in order to join the suit.

Under the Wage Claims Statute, the wage claims must first be submitted to the DOL, which may then refer the claims to the attorney general, who may initiate civil actions or refer the claim to an attorney. To become the "designee" of the attorney general, the claimant must first obtain a letter of referral before filing suit, wrote Judge Nancy Vaidik.

The Court of Appeals also affirmed the trial court didn't abuse its discretion in sequencing the discovery to avoid extensive and costly discovery until it ruled on the motion to dismiss.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.