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RODONICH v. HOUSE WRECKERS UNION LOCAL 95

September 20, 1985

JOSEPH RODONICH, ALEX CHOTOWICKY, WASYL LAWRO, and HARRY DIDUCK, Plaintiffs, against HOUSE WRECKERS UNION LOCAL 95 OF LABORERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, ET AL., Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: CANNELLA

CANNELLA, D.J.:

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Defendants' motions for summary judgment and to dismiss for failure to state a claim are granted in part and denied in part. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6); 56(b).

 Plaintiffs' cross motion for partial summary judgment is denied. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a).

 Plaintiffs' motion to supplement and amend the complaint is granted. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a), (d).

 FACTS

 Plaintiffs commenced this action against the Laborers' International Union of North America ["LIUNA"], Local 95 of LIUNA, and individual defendants alleging violations of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act ["LMRDA"], 29 U.S.C. §§ 411(a)(1), (2), (5), 529, 530, the Labor Management Relations Act ["LMRA"], 29 U.S.C. § 185(a), the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act ["RICO"], 18 U.S.C. § 1962, and common law breach of contract. The complaint in essence alleges, among other things, that defendants engaged in a scheme to repress dissent within the union and unlawfully disciplined plaintiffs. Defendants move for summary judgment, claiming that plaintiffs' actions under the LMRA and LMRDA are barred by the statute of limitations. Defendants also move to dismiss plaintiffs' LMRA, RICO and common law breach of contract claims for failure to state a cause of action and LIUNA moves alternatively for summary judgment. LIUNA moves for summary judgment with respect to the claims under the LMRDA and moves to dismiss the claims under sections 101(a)(5) and 609 of the LMRDA, 29 U.S.C. §§ 411(a)(5), 529, as failing to state a cause of action. Plaintiffs cross move for, partial summary judgment on the LMRA and state law contract claims. Plaintiffs also move to supplement and amend the complaint.

 DISCUSSION

 I. Statute of Limitations

 Defendants, relying on Del Costello v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 462 U.S. 151, 76 L. Ed. 2d 476, 103 S. Ct. 2281 (1983), contend that plaintiffs' claims under Title I of the LMRDA, 29 U.S.C. § 411 et seq. ["Title I"], and Section 301 of the LMRA, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a) ["Section 301"], are barred by the six-month statute of limitations of Section 10(b) ["Section 10(b)"] of the National Labor Relations Act ["NLRA"], 29 U.S.C. § 160(b). Plaintiffs claim that state law statutes of limitations should apply. All parties agree that, if the state statutes apply, plaintiffs' claims are timely.

 The Court, therefore, must determine whether the case is controlled by Del Costello, which applied Section 10(b)'s statute of limitations, governing unfair labor practices, to Section 301/fair representation "hybrid" suits. 462 U.S. at 169. In Del Costello, the Court declined to borrow state law statutes because only imprecise state law analogies to these hybrid suits exist. The Court first noted that section 10(b) provides an appropriate limitations period because Section 301/fair representation claims often involve conduct that amounts to an unfair labor practice. Id. at 170. More important to the Court's analysis was its determination that the six-month statute strikes a proper balance "between the national interests in stable bargaining relationships and finality of private settlements, and an employee's interest in setting aside what he views as an unjust settlement under the collective bargaining system." Id. at 171 (quoting United Parcel Serv. v. Mitchell, 451 U.S. 56, 70, 67 L. Ed. 2d 732, 101 S. Ct. 1559 (1981) (Stewart, J., concurring)).

 The Court cautioned however that its holding:

 should not be taken as a departure from prior practice in borrowing limitations periods for federal causes of action, in labor law or elsewhere. We do not mean to suggest that federal courts should eschew use of state limitations periods anytime state law fails to provide a perfect analogy. See e.g., Mitchell, 451 U.S., at 61, n.3. On the contrary, as the courts have often discovered, there is not always an obvious state-law choice for application to a given federal cause of action; yet resort to state law remains the norm for borrowing of limitations periods. Nevertheless, when a rule from elsewhere in federal law clearly provides a closer analogy than available state statutes, and when the federal policies ...


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