on this claim because plaintiffs have failed to properly support their allegation of Grove's disinterested malevolence. Def. Mem. of Law at 19-21. The Court agrees on both points.
Under New York law, the elements of a prima facie tort are "(1) intentional infliction of harm, (2) causing special damages, (3) without excuse or justification, (4) by an act or series of acts that would otherwise be lawful." Curiano v. Suozzi, 63 N.Y.2d 113, 117, 480 N.Y.S.2d 466, 469 N.E.2d 1324 (1984). Pleading special damages requires "a particularized statement of the reasonable, identifiable and measurable" loss. Nu-Life Constr. Corp. v. Bd. of Educ. of New York City, 204 A.D.2d 106, 108, 611 N.Y.S.2d 529 (1st Dep't 1994); see also Starishevsky v. Parker, 225 A.D.2d 480, 480, 639 N.Y.S.2d 377 (1st Dep't 1996) (wages and benefits must be identifiable). Round figures with no itemization do not satisfy the requirement of pleading special damages. Gay v. Carlson, 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15799, No. 89- CV-4757, 1992 WL 309819, at *10 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 15, 1992), aff'd in part, 60 F.3d 83 (2d Cir. 1995).
At oral argument, plaintiffs conceded that their prima facie tort cause of action must fail because they have not pleaded special damages adequately. Plaintiffs allege in general terms that Local 14 members lost "employment, wages and benefits" and Local 14 benefit funds lost contributions. Amended Compl. P 37. A lump sum damages amount of $ 15,000,000 is claimed, with no attempt at itemization or specificity. See id. P 40.
Also fatal to plaintiffs' prima facie tort claim is their failure to raise a genuine issue of fact that "disinterested malevolence" was the "sole motive" for Grove's actions, a required element of prima facie tort under New York law. See Burns Jackson Miller Summit & Spitzer v. Lindner, 59 N.Y.2d 314, 333, 464 N.Y.S.2d 712, 451 N.E.2d 459 (1983). The amended complaint alleges that Grove "lack[s] justification for unlawfully and intentionally causing harm to Plaintiffs' commercial interests." Amended Compl. P 38. In support of its summary judgment motion, Grove submits an affidavit by its sales director, stating that RTG35 cherrypickers were sold to meet a market need, and that Grove had realized a profit on the sales. Minnich Aff.
Rule 56(e) requires that once the moving party provides evidentiary support for its position, "an adverse party may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleading, but . . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 56(e). On an issue upon which the plaintiff bears the burden of proof, mere allegation of a factual dispute, without any evidentiary support, is insufficient to defeat a summary judgment motion. Rexnord Holdings, Inc. v. Bidermann, 21 F.3d 522, 526 (2d Cir. 1994). Plaintiffs' conclusory assertion that Grove lacked justification for its actions will not defeat Grove's motion.
The Court grants Grove's motion to dismiss the prima facie tort cause of action.
2. Section 301 Pre-emption
Grove urges the Court to grant its summary judgment motion and dismiss plaintiffs' complaint because the state law claims, which require interpretation of the CBA, are pre-empted by § 301 of the LMRA, 29 U.S.C. § 185. Def. Mem. of Law at 8. Plaintiffs respond that pre-emption is not warranted because the Court does not have § 301 jurisdiction over Grove because Grove is a nonsignatory to the CBA. Pl. Mem. of Law at 2.
While LMRA pre-emption and jurisdiction are often subject to similar analysis, lack of jurisdiction does not preclude pre-emption, and pre-emption does not necessarily imply a federal claim. See Allis-Chalmers Corp. v. Lueck, 471 U.S. 202, 220, 85 L. Ed. 2d 206, 105 S. Ct. 1904 (1985) (when state law claim is dependent on CBA interpretation, it "must either be treated as a § 301 claim . . . or dismissed as pre-empted by federal labor-contract law") (internal citation omitted); Greenblatt v. Delta Plumbing & Heating Corp., 68 F.3d 561, 572 (2d Cir. 1995) (litigant "is too quick in assuming that pre-emption necessarily leads to federal jurisdiction"); Int'l Union, United Mine Workers v. Covenant Coal Corp., 977 F.2d 895, 897-99 (4th Cir. 1992) (no § 301 jurisdiction over tortious interference claim against nonsignatory, but § 301 pre-empts state law claim).
Section 301(a) of the LMRA provides, in pertinent part, that
suits for violation of contracts between an employer and a labor organization . . . may be brought in any district court of the United States having jurisdiction of the parties . . . .
29 U.S.C. § 185. The Supreme Court's interpretation of the scope of § 301 pre-emption has been broad, but recently has shown signs of narrowing. In Textile Workers Union v. Lincoln Mills, the Supreme Court directed federal courts to develop a body of federal substantive law pursuant to § 301 to enforce collective bargaining agreements. 353 U.S. 448, 456, 1 L. Ed. 2d 972, 77 S. Ct. 912 (1957); see also Teamsters v. Lucas Flour Co., 369 U.S. 95, 103-04, 7 L. Ed. 2d 593, 82 S. Ct. 571 (1962) ("the subject matter of § 301 is particularly one that calls for uniform law . . . in enacting § 301 Congress intended doctrines of federal labor law uniformly to prevail over inconsistent local rules") (internal quotations and citations omitted). In order to achieve a comprehensive, unified body of federal law governing labor contracts, the Supreme Court has stated that
if the resolution of a state-law claim depends upon the meaning of a collective-bargaining agreement, the application of state law (which might lead to inconsistent results since there could be as many state-law principles as there are States) is pre-empted and federal labor-law principles -- necessarily uniform throughout the Nation -- must be employed to resolve the dispute.