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 Cir. 1990) (Baylis II).
Thus, plaintiff's claim against Quinn must either be treated as
one under § 301 or be dismissed as prohibited by that section.
This court is aware of no decision that holds that § 301
prohibits a claim for tortious interference with labor contracts.
Indeed, in Baylis I the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
cited with apparent approval, albeit in dicta, two cases
allowing such claims under § 301. Local 472, United Ass'n of
Journeymen v. Georgia Power Co., 684 F.2d 721, 725 (11th Cir.
1982); Wilkes-Barre Publishing Co. v. Newspaper Guild,
647 F.2d 372, 379-81 (3d Cir. 1981).
Both those decisions held that the District Court had
jurisdiction over claims of tortious inducement of breach of a
collective bargaining agreement and that the applicable
substantive law under § 301 was federal law fashioned by the
court from the policy of the national labor laws. As both courts
recognized, to hold that such claims of tortious interference
were not a matter of federal law might create a lack of
uniformity in protecting a labor contract "which has its being in
and draws its vitality from the federal common law of labor
contracts." 647 F.2d at 381 and 684 F.2d at 725-26.
In contrast to the Railway Labor Act there is nothing in § 301
that suggests that it bars claims for tortious interference with
labor contracts. The Railway Labor Act makes the procedures
established under it the exclusive forum for interpretation of
such contracts. Baylis II, supra, at 877. The same is not true
of contracts covered by § 301. Indeed, by its terms that section
establishes the federal court as the forum for the contract's
Quinn and Paul suggest that the Local 472 and Wilkes-Barre
Publishing Co. cases are distinguishable on the ground that in
each the plaintiff was a party to the collective bargaining
agreement. But union members may sue their employer under § 301.
Those decisions made no point of the identity of the plaintiff.
They allowed claims against third parties for tortious
interference in order to protect those who had rights under the
Plaintiff as a union member had rights under the collective
bargaining agreement between the Hospital and the Union. She
could sue the Hospital and the Union to protect those rights.
There is no reason in policy why she should be disabled from
protecting those rights against the efforts of others to induce
Quinn and Paul also argue that to permit a plaintiff to bring a
tortious interference claim in federal court might circumvent
federal labor policy by authorizing actions before the exhaustion
of the grievance and arbitration procedures. But the court can
preserve this federal interest by requiring exhaustion of such
procedures as a prerequisite to filing the claim. There is no
suggestion that plaintiff failed to exhaust the grievance
There is no merit to the contention of Quinn and Paul that as
individual union members they may not be sued under Section 301
for damages arising out of a breach of the collective bargaining
agreement. They cite Complete Auto Transit v. Reis,
451 U.S. 401, 101 S.Ct. 1836, 68 L.Ed.2d 248 (1981). That case held only
that Section 301 does not allow recovery of damages against
individual union members resulting from breach of a no-strike
provision of a collective bargaining agreement and expressly
limited the holding to this narrow point. Id. at 415 n. 17, 101
S.Ct. at 1844 n. 17. The Supreme Court has held that § 301
contemplates other suits by and against individual employees.
Hines v. Anchor Motor Freight, 424 U.S. 554, 562, 96 S.Ct.
1048, 1055, 47 L.Ed.2d 231 (1976).
Plaintiff may amend her complaint to allege a claim for
tortious interference under federal common law.
The court sees no reason to reconsider its earlier decision
that punitive damages may be available against the Hospital under
section 301. The Hospital says that the complaint fails to allege
facts suggesting that Hospital management, as distinct from its
employees, abused its authority.
The complaint states that the Hospital and the other defendants
undertook negotiations that were "spurious, carried on in bad
faith and deliberately designed to give plaintiff an impression
that there was a sincere effort being made." These allegations
and those stating that the Hospital's employees lied and
conspired to have plaintiff fired, justify an inference of
management's willful misconduct.
The court need not at this time determine whether plaintiff may
recover punitive damages solely for the misconduct of
Plaintiff's motion is granted. The Hospital's motion for
reconsideration is denied.
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