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Jackson v. Teamsters Local Union 922

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

October 30, 2013

RALPH JACKSON, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION 922, et al., Defendants

Page 65

For RALPH JACKSON, LINDA MATHIS, DONNA WARD, ROBERT CICCARELLI, DONCHEZ COATES, WILLIAM CHRISTOPHER, SHARRON FOSTER, CHRIS MUNDELL, TIFFANY CHERRY, Plaintiffs: JoAnn P. Myles, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICE OF JOANN P. MYLES, Largo, MD.

For TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION 922, Defendant: Diana M. Bardes, Richard C. Welch, LEAD ATTORNEYS, MOONEY, GREEN, SAINDON, MURPHY & WELCH, P.C., Washington, DC.

For WAREHOUSE EMPLOYEES UNION LOCAL 730, Defendant; John R Mooney, LEAD ATTORNEY, MOONEY, GREEN, BAKER, SAINDON, PC, Washington, DC; Lauren Brady Powell, MOONEY, GREEN, SAINDON, MURPHY & WELCH, P.C., Washington, DC.

For GIANT FOOD LLC, Defendant: Amanda C. Dupree, Jonathan C. Fritts, LEAD ATTORNEYS, MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 66

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JAMES E. BOASBERG, United States District Judge.

Plaintiffs are former employees of Giant Food LLC who claim that the company conspired with their former unions -- Teamsters Local 922 and Warehouse Employees Local 730 -- to fire them and convince them to sign disadvantageous severance agreements. Plaintiffs originally filed their Complaint pro se, but having retained counsel, they now seek leave to file an Amended Complaint. All three Defendants, who had initially moved to dismiss the original Complaint, oppose such filing, arguing that the proposed amendments would be futile and will prejudice them. Given the liberality of the Federal Rules regarding amendment at this early stage, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs should be permitted to proceed on their Amended Complaint.

Page 67

I. Background

On June 30, 2012, Giant laid off 19 of its employees, including Plaintiffs. See Am. Compl., ¶ ¶ 2-10, 35. In response, Plaintiffs filed a pro se Complaint suing Giant as well as the two unions that represented them, Teamsters Local 922 and Warehouse Employees Local 730. See ECF No. 1 (December 27, 2012). Plaintiffs claimed that Giant and the unions had colluded to misrepresent the reasons for the layoffs and to induce them to sign unfavorable severance agreements. See Compl., ¶ ¶ 21-24. The Complaint stated several causes of action, including breach of contract, breach of the duty of fair representation, discrimination, negligence, and conspiracy. See id., ¶ ¶ 29-72. The three Defendants each filed separate Motions to Dismiss the Complaint. See ECF No. 2 (Local 922 Motion, May 2, 2013); ECF No. 8 (Local 730 Motion, May 23, 2013); ECF No. 13 (Giant Motion, June 6, 2013).

Plaintiffs subsequently retained counsel and have now moved for leave to file an Amended Complaint. See ECF No. 24 (July 1, 2013). The proposed Amended Complaint drops all claims against Local 922 and Local 730 except for the allegation that the unions violated their duties of fair representation. See Am. Compl., ¶ ¶ 90-153. As for Giant, the Amended Complaint drops most of the claims but also adds new ones, including misrepresentation, fraud, constructive fraud, detrimental reliance, and retaliation. See id., ¶ ¶ 200-38. All three Defendants oppose Plaintiffs' Motion, claiming ...


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