RV plant-closing lawsuit proceeds

December 14, 2016

Workers at a northern Indiana recreational vehicle plant that closed in June may proceed with a lawsuit alleging company management failed to notify workers about the closing as federal law requires.

Matthew Grimes is the lead plaintiff in a proposed class-action that claims EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC closed its Middlebury manufacturing facility without providing 60 days’ notice as required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. The suit alleges about 270 workers lost their jobs when the plant in Middlebury and others closed. Also named as defendants are KR Enterprises Inc. and JMA LLC.

KR and JMA moved to dismiss the complaint, but Judge Theresa Springmann denied the motion this week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

The complaint says there is evidence that EverGreen, KR and JMA constitute a single employer because they share common officers and exerted control over EverGreen’s labor practices. Springmann wrote the complaint’s allegations were sufficiently pleaded to overcome the defense motion to dismiss.

“The Court finds, based on the totality of the allegations, that the complaint should be allowed to proceed. The Plaintiff has alleged that KR and JMA exercised de facto control over the labor practices of EverGreen including the decision to effect mass layoffs or plant closings at the Facilities,” Springmann wrote. “Although the Plaintiff makes these allegations on information and belief, the Plaintiff includes sufficient allegations about other matters, such as common officers or directors and common ownership, to ‘raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence’ to support liability for the wrongdoing alleged.”

The case is Matthew Grimes, et al. v. Evergreen Recreational Vehicles, LLC, KR Enterprises, Inc., and JMA, LLC, 3:16-cv-472.


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