The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nickerson, District Judge.
Plaintiff brought this action following her termination from
employment. The defendants are Saint John's Queens Hospital (the
Hospital), Local 1199, Drug, Hospital and Health Care Employees
Union, RWSDSU, AFL-CIO (the Union), and two individuals, Mary
Kelly Quinn and Winifred Paul.
Plaintiff, a member of the Union, alleges she was employed as a
nurse by the Hospital and was involved in an altercation with
Quinn, another Hospital nurse. Five days after the incident the
Hospital discharged plaintiff for unprofessional behavior.
The matter went to an arbitration hearing at which Quinn and
Paul, another Hospital employee, testified unfavorably to
plaintiff. Thereafter the arbitrator upheld the Hospital's
This suit followed, alleging as a first claim a wrongful
discharge by the Hospital and a breach of duty of fair
representation by the Union. As a second and pendent claim
plaintiff asserted that Quinn and Paul had intentionally
interfered with her employment relationship with the Hospital in
violation of state law.
By Memorandum and Order dated May 27, 1988 this court dismissed
the first claim as untimely and the second claim for lack of
The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the claims were
timely and that this court should focus on the second claim in
light of the reversal of the dismissal of the first claim.
Ghartey v. St. John's Queens Hosp., 869 F.2d 160 (2d Cir.
By Memorandum and Order dated December 15, 1989, this court
then dismissed the claim against Quinn and Paul under state law
for tortious interference with contract, holding that neither
29 U.S.C. § 185(a) (section 301(a) of the Labor Management Relations
Act of 1947) nor 28 U.S.C. § 1337(a) (granting jurisdiction over
actions under a federal act regulating commerce) conferred
pendent party jurisdiction
over Quinn and Paul in a state law claim. 727 F. Supp. 795.
Plaintiff now moves to amend her complaint to reallege the
claim against Quinn and Paul and assert federal common law as a
basis for jurisdiction. The Hospital applies to the court to
reconsider its December ruling permitting plaintiff to seek
punitive damages against the Hospital.
Familiarity with the previous decisions of this court and of
the Court of Appeals is assumed.
As the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recognized in
Baylis v. Marriott Corp., 843 F.2d 658, 664 (2d Cir. 1988)
(Baylis I), the federal courts have "the power to develop a
uniform body of federal law in the process of construing and
enforcing collective bargaining agreements covered by § 301 of
the Labor-Management Relations Act," citing Textile Workers
Union v. Lincoln Mills, 353 U.S. 448, 456-57, 77 S.Ct. 912,
917-18, 1 L.Ed.2d 972 (1957). Section 301(a) extends the
jurisdiction of a District Court to "suits for violation of
contracts between an employer and a labor organization
representing employees . . . or between any such labor
The Supreme Court has said that § 301 is not to be given a
narrow reading and has directed the courts "to formulate and
apply federal law to suits for violation of collective bargaining
contracts." Smith v. Evening News Ass'n, 371 U.S. 195, 199, 83
S.Ct. 267, 270, 9 L.Ed.2d 246 (1962).
The Supreme Court has also held that when resolution of a state
law claim is substantially dependent upon interpretation of a
collective bargaining agreement that claim must either "be
treated as a § 301 claim" or "dismissed as preempted by federal
labor-contract law." Allis Chalmers Corp. v. Lueck,
471 U.S. 202, 220, 105 S.Ct. 1904, 1916, 85 L.Ed.2d 206 (1985). Plaintiff
cannot establish the alleged tortious inducement to breach the
collective bargaining agreement without establishing the meaning
of that agreement and its breach by the Hospital. See Baylis v.
Marriott Corp., 906 F.2d 874, 877 (2d ...