ILNews

Judges affirm dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the decision by a trial court to dismiss a company’s state law claims against a labor union, finding those claims are preempted by a decision of the National Labor Relations Board.

Engineered Steel Concepts, owned by Tom Anderson, negotiated with Steven Parks, a business agent for a union, to have union members drive trucks hauling a by-product of the steel-making process. Anderson had two agreement options: a Section 8(f) general construction agreement, applicable to employers who are primarily in the building and construction industry; and Section 9(a), a commodity hauling agreement. Anderson signed the Section 8(f) agreement under the belief that this was the best agreement since the work would be temporary.

After the by-product hauling project ended, the company told the union employees that no other work was available. The union filed a charge against ESC with the National Labor Relations Board claiming the employees were unjustly terminated. An administrative law judge found that the company couldn’t have entered into a Section 8(f) agreement and treated the agreement instead like the Section 9(a) agreement. Under Section 9(a), ESC couldn’t terminate the agreement at the end of the project. The ALJ found ESC violated several sections of the National Labor Relations Act.

Anderson and the company then alleged three counts against Parks and the union, including fraud in inducement of the contract. The trial court granted the union’s request to dismiss the complaint under Indiana Trial Rule 12(B)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

The appellate judges found in Engineered Steel Concepts, Inc., ESC Group Limited, and Tom Anderson v. General Drivers, Warehousemen, and Helpers Union Local 142, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and Steven Parks, that the National Labor Relations Act preempted the state claims. The three state law claims against Parks and the union are essentially based on the exchange between Anderson and Parks in deciding which agreement to use. These issues were before the ALJ for resolution of the NLRB complaint.

“As such, it would be impossible for a state court to determine the merits of Anderson and the Company’s allegations without becoming an obstacle to the federal objective of having the NLRB exclusively 'oversee and referee' the collectively bargaining process between these two entities,” wrote Judge Edward Najam.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

ADVERTISEMENT