In, Cape Fear Public Transit Authority v. Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1328, the Wilmington transit authority is challenging a labor arbitration in favor of the Union, which ordered a terminated employee be put back to work. This case is before federal Judge Boyle in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Yesterday, Judge Boyle ruled for the Union, concluding that there were no grounds to reverse the arbitration decision. Finding the city’s lawsuit to be “without justification,” Judge Boyle also awarded the Union its attorneys’ fees for defending this case. Here is the opinion. Mike Okun and Narendra Ghosh are representing the Union.
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In, Cape Fear Public Transit Authority v. Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1328, the Wilmington transit authority is challenging a labor arbitration that was in favor of the Union, and which ordered a terminated employee be put back to work. This case is before Judge Boyle in federal court (EDNC). On behalf of the Union, Patterson Harkavy has filed the following brief, response brief, and reply brief. Mike Okun and Narendra Ghosh are representing the Union.
Here is a summary of the Union’s position:
First, plaintiff’s claim should be dismissed for failure to timely effect service because plaintiff did not properly serve defendant before the 120-day deadline elapsed, and had no good cause for its failure to do so. Second, plaintiff’s claim should be dismissed because plaintiff CFPTA was not a party to the arbitration decision that it seeks to vacate, has no standing to challenge the decision, and has provided no relevant authority to demonstrate that it is permitted to bring this suit under 28 U.S.C. § 185.
Third, plaintiff’s claim should be dismissed for failure to state a valid claim to vacate the arbitration decision. The arbitrator correctly determined that Professional Transit Management of Wilmington, Inc. (“PTM”) violated the controlling collective bargain agreement (“CBA”) in terminating the grievant, and to the extent there was ambiguity in the operative language of the CBA, the arbitrator’s interpretation cannot be disturbed by the Court. Under the standard enunciated by the Supreme Court, plaintiff has also failed to show how the arbitrator’s decision to reinstate the grievant violates any clearly established public policy. For all these reasons, the Court should award defendant its reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred in this litigation because plaintiff’s motion to vacate the arbitration award has no arguable basis in the law.
Categories: News of the Firm
A civil rights complaint has been filed in federal court on behalf of Plaintiff Gregory Flynt Taylor against Peter Duane Deaver and other former employees of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation seeking damages for his wrongful incarceration. The complaint may be viewed here.
In April 1993, Mr. Taylor was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a murder two years earlier which he did not commit. The Defendants worked in the SBI Crime Lab and wrote a deliberately misleading report about evidence collected from the crime scene. Because this report misrepresented the facts and the findings of the laboratory tests, Mr. Taylor was convicted of a crime he did not commit and spent the next 17 years in prison. On February 17, 2011 a three-judge panel unanimously found that Mr. Taylor was innocent of the charge of murder and ordered his immediate release. Mr. Taylor was given a full Pardon of Innocence by Governor Beverly Perdue on May 21, 2010.
Mr. Taylor’s complaint brings claims under the federal constitution, North Carolina Constitution, and North Carolina common law. Mr. Taylor is represented by Burton Craige and Narendra Ghosh, as well as Spencer Parris and Christopher Olson at Martin & Jones.
Categories: News of the Firm
The following briefs opposing defendants’ motion to dismiss have recently been filed in Dail, v. City of Goldsboro, et al.: Plaintiff’s First Response Brief and Plaintiff’s Second Response Brief. Mr. Dail was convicted of a crime he did not commit and subsequently imprisoned for 18 years. He was exonerated in 2007 when DNA evidence proved his innocence. This evidence – which was later recovered – had been improperly handled and allegedly destroyed in 1995 by the City of Goldsboro. The case is now before Judge Boyle in federal court (EDNC). Mr. Dail is represented by Burton Craige and Narendra Ghosh of Patterson Harkavy, as well as Spencer Parris and Christopher Olson at Martin & Jones. More on the case can be found here. This a summary of Plaintiff’s argument:
Dail has properly stated cognizable claims for relief arising from his wrongful incarceration. Dail has stated a valid claim for municipal liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Monell v. Department of Social Services of the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 98 S. Ct. 2018 (1978), because Defendants had a policy or practice of failing to properly inventory and safeguard evidence, including the evidence that ultimately exonerated Dail. Defendants’ unconstitutional conduct arbitrarily denied Dail’s liberty interest and resulted in his continued wrongful incarceration. Unlike the plaintiff in District Attorney’s Office for Third Judicial District v. Osborne, 129 S. Ct. 2308 (2009), the principal case upon which Defendants rely, Dail has not impermissibly used § 1983 to seek access to potential evidence, but instead properly invokes § 1983 to redress Defendants’ unconstitutional failure to reasonably maintain evidence.
Dail has also properly brought state law claims for negligence and obstruction of justice, which are not time-barred. Those claims did not accrue until August 27, 2007, when Defendants first notified Dail of the results of the DNA testing, or on August 28, 2007, when Dail was finally released from custody, and thus were timely filed on August 26, 2010. Finally, Dail has stated valid claims under the North Carolina Constitution based on Defendants’ violations of his rights to procedural due process and entitlement to exculpatory evidence.
This case presents weighty issues of constitutional significance in an evolving area of law. Consideration of the merits of the claims asserted in this action should follow development of a full factual record.
Categories: News of the Firm
In this case, plaintiffs are bringing collective action claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) based on the under-payment of wages and overtime at Smithfield Packing’s Tar Heel, North Carolina meat processing facility. Magistrate Judge Gates issued an opinion last week recommending that defendant’s motion to decertify the FLSA collective action be denied. If his recommendation is approved by the district judge, the case will proceed to trial as a collective action. The plaintiffs are represented by several lawyers, including Ann Groninger.
Continue for details from the opinion: Read more…