CDF Obtains Dismissal of Federal Case Brought Against Its Construction Industry Client

A job superintendent sued his construction company employer in state court claiming the company had breached an oral agreement to pay him significant additional compensation and benefits for being “on call” to provide managerial services.  Partner Mark Van Brussel and Associate Connor Moyle removed the case to federal court on grounds that plaintiff was a union member whose claims were completely preempted under the federal Labor Management Relations Act.  Plaintiff moved to remand the case to state court but CDF defeated his motion.  Plaintiff then agreed to a stay of the federal action while he grieved his claims under the procedure set forth in the collective bargaining agreement between employer and union.  At the same time, the company terminated plaintiff’s employment for his nonperformance.  Plaintiff’s labor grievance went to arbitration and plaintiff, dissatisfied with the arbitrator’s decision, returned to federal court and amended his complaint to add a claim for wrongful termination.  Van Brussel moved to dismiss plaintiff’s amended complaint on grounds that the doctrines of federal preemption, res judicata and collateral estoppel barred his pleading.  The Court agreed and dismissed plaintiff’s entire action with prejudice.


U.S. District Court, Northern District


Mark H. Van Brussel

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