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Dismissal of Navistar workers’ complaint upheld by 7th Circuit

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A group of unionized workers laid off by an Indianapolis engine plant who brought an action for breach of the collective-bargaining agreement didn’t provide enough factual content in their complaint to allow it to proceed in court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

Forty-three plaintiffs brought the original action under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act after Navistar laid them off and did not rehire them as work became available. Instead, the company subcontracted their work to nonunion plants. Judge Sarah Evans Barker in the Southern District of Indiana dismissed the complaint because of a lack of factual content to plead a plausible claim for breach of the duty of fair representation.

A successful Section 301 claim requires a breach of contract by an employer and a breach by the plaintiff’s union of its duty of fair representation. This is required so that the plaintiff first seeks to address the complaint through the grievance process set up by the union.

The plaintiffs here allege that they filed grievances challenging Navistar’s subcontracting work, but the union intentionally failed to process the grievances in breach of its duty of fair representation. After the District Court dismissed the complaint, only 29 plaintiffs proceeded on appeal.

“The plaintiffs offer nothing to support their claim of bad faith apart from conclusory labels — that the unnamed union officials acted ‘invidiously’ when they failed to process the grievances, or simply that the union’s actions were ‘intentional, willful, wanton, and malicious.’ They supply no factual detail to support these conclusory allegations, such as (for example) offering facts that suggest a motive for the union’s alleged failure to deal with the grievances,” Judge Diane Sykes wrote in Robert Yeftich, et al. v. Navistar Inc. and Indianapolis Casting Corp., 12-2964.

“Nor do the plaintiffs offer plausible allegations of arbitrariness. The plaintiffs generally allege an arbitrary failure to act on their grievances … but factual detail in support of this otherwise conclusory allegation is entirely missing,” she continued.

Judge John D. Tinder recused himself and did not participate in the decision on appeal, which was resolved by a quorum of the panel, the opinion notes.

 

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  • COA
    The court of appeals not only tries to rewrite or interpret the law to suit their fancy, now they choose play stupid as well. Every consideration must be given to pro se litigants, who are not held to the same standards as attorneys, as stated by,SCOTUS. I assume they didn't have a lawyer, since one wasn't mentioned and I strongly suggest thatb the rest of the, origional petitioners get back in there and fight for their rights.

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  1. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  2. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  3. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  4. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

  5. Dear Fan, let me help you correct the title to your post. "ACLU is [Left] most of the time" will render it accurate. Just google it if you doubt that I am, err, "right" about this: "By the mid-1930s, Roger Nash Baldwin had carved out a well-established reputation as America’s foremost civil libertarian. He was, at the same time, one of the nation’s leading figures in left-of-center circles. Founder and long time director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Baldwin was a firm Popular Fronter who believed that forces on the left side of the political spectrum should unite to ward off the threat posed by right-wing aggressors and to advance progressive causes. Baldwin’s expansive civil liberties perspective, coupled with his determined belief in the need for sweeping socioeconomic change, sometimes resulted in contradictory and controversial pronouncements. That made him something of a lightning rod for those who painted the ACLU with a red brush." http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/biographies/roger-baldwin-2/ "[George Soros underwrites the ACLU' which It supports open borders, has rushed to the defense of suspected terrorists and their abettors, and appointed former New Left terrorist Bernardine Dohrn to its Advisory Board." http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1237 "The creation of non-profit law firms ushered in an era of progressive public interest firms modeled after already established like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") and the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") to advance progressive causes from the environmental protection to consumer advocacy." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cause_lawyering

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