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Hayden v. Reickerd

filed: December 19, 1991.

ROBERT HAYDEN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT
v.
J A REICKERD; MICHAEL HERNANDEZ; LOCKHEED MISSLES & SPACE COMPANY, INC.; LOCKHEED CORPORATION DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Spencer M. Williams, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CV-88-20825-SW

Before: Tang, Farris and D. W. Nelson, Circuit Judges.

Author: Tang

Order

The memorandum disposition filed December 19, 1991, is redesignated as an authored opinion by Judge Tang.

Robert Hayden, a Lockheed Corporation employee and union steward, sued Lockheed and two of its management employees in state court for battery and retaliation. Lockheed removed the action to federal court and moved for summary judgment. The district court granted Lockheed and its management employees summary judgment, holding that federal labor law preempts Hayden's state claims. Upon Hayden's appeal, we vacate judgment and remand.

FACTS AND PROCEEDING S

Hayden, a thirty-year employee of Lockheed, is an active member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local Lodge 2228 ("Union"). As a union steward, Hayden represented other Lockheed employees in grievance proceedings at Lockheed's Sunnyvale, California plant. On February 15, 1988, Hayden and another union member met for a grievance procedure with defendant J.A. Reickerd, a Lockheed management employee. Lockheed alleges that during the meeting, Hayden used obscene language and called Reickerd a liar. Hayden alleges that Reickerd "abruptly terminated the meeting, grabbed [Hayden] by the shoulders; turned him around in the direction of the door and violently shoved [Hayden] out of" Reickerd's office.

Hayden alleges that this shoving injured his back and neck and aggravated a preexisting disc disease. The day after the shoving incident, Hayden sought medical treatment from a Lockheed doctor. The doctor limited Hayden's work duties to "bench" work and recommended reducing stress. Lockheed thereafter denied Hayden workers' compensation benefits. Hayden therefore sought continuing treatment from his private physician. That doctor continued to limit Hayden's work duties and recommended reducing stress.

Hayden alleges that his Lockheed supervisor, defendant Michael Hernandez, subsequently conspired to harass and retaliate against Hayden for his union activities. This course of harassment, according to Hayden, culminated in his suspension from work for an involuntary medical leave. On August 30, 1988, Hernandez sent Hayden back to the Lockheed doctor for a physical examination. The Lockheed doctor reiterated the bench work limitation and reduction in stress. At Hernandez's insistence, Hayden alleges, the Lockheed doctor then changed his recommendation. Hernandez then placed Hayden on involuntary medical leave.

Hayden filed a union grievance alleging the Reickerd and Hernandez violated Lockheed's collective bargaining agreement with the union. That grievance eventually was arbitrated. Hayden missed, however, the six-month statutory deadline for filing a federal cause of action based on Reickerd's assault and battery.

On November 9, 1988, nine months after the battery and three months after placement on involuntary medical leave, Hayden filed a complaint in California state court against Reickerd, Hernandez, and Lockheed. Hayden alleged the torts of assault and battery against Reickerd, and claimed Lockheed is vicariously liable for Reickerd's conduct. Hayden also alleged that Reickerd and Hernandez conspired to harass and retaliate against him for his union activities, causing him stress against doctors' orders. Hayden alleged Lockheed is vicariously liable for the retaliation and conspiracy also. Hayden claimed damages for physical injury, uncompensated medical expenses, mental anguish, and lost time from work. He also sought punitive damages.

In December 1988, Lockheed removed Hayden's state court action to federal district court. The district court agreed that Hayden's complaint falls under exclusive federal jurisdiction by implicating federal labor law. Lockheed then moved for summary judgment. The district court granted Reickerd, Hernandez, and Lockheed summary judgment. The district court held that federal labor law preempts all of Hayden's state law claims. Hayden's only recourse for the allegations in his complaint, the district court held, was in an action under section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA"). Because Hayden had failed to file such an action in time, the district court concluded, Hayden could pursue no claims in federal court. The court therefore entered judgment for all the defendants.

Hayden timely appeals the district court's decision that federal labor law preempts his state tort claims. He seeks reversal and remand of the case to ...


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