ILNews

COA upholds dismissal of proposed class

Back to TopE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  2. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  3. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  4. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  5. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

ADVERTISEMENT