January 7, 2016, “Old School” “Violant Assault” on McHenry County Firm’s Nonunion Workers Results in Lawsuit Victory against Indiana Ironworkers Local 395 Union – Part 8 Right to Work Interference & Conspiracy

Count XIX – Intentional Interference with Right to Work Non-Union

Count XIX is identified as a claim for “Intentional Interference with Right to Work Non-Union,” invoking section 8 of Indiana’s Right to Work Act, Indiana Code §22-6-6-8. That law provides that “[a] person may not require an individual to…become or remain a member of a labor organization…as a condition of employment or continuation of employment.”

An individual who suffers an injury from a violation of Indiana’s Right to Work law can bring a civil action in which damages and other remedies may be recovered.

Scene of the crime.

In support of summary judgment in their favor, plaintiffs argue that the attack on them was a “scheme…to deny them their statutory right to choose whether to become Local 395 members.”

...because the statute by its terms only prohibits agreements or practices that require union membership or the payment of union dues as conditions of employment, the statute is not implicated by what occurred here. [Emphasis added.]

The undisputed evidence indicates that the violent attack on D5’s employees by representatives of Local 395 was not designed to “require” those individuals to do anything other than leave the job and make way for union ironworkers. Instead, the attack was intended to compel the victims’ non-union employer to give up on the job, and for the church and general contractor to use Local 395 labor in their place.

The conduct of the defendants did not involve imposing, or attempting to impose, a “condition of employment” on Lindner, Kudingo, Weil, Harper and Tonnesen, as defendants were not employers offering employment to the victims of the attack and were not attempting to enforce a bargaining agreement requiring union membership.

Beating up D5 employees because they were non-union is not the same as requiring them to join a union as a condition of continued employment…

I conclude as a matter of law that the undisputed facts do not demonstrate a violation of the Indiana’s Right to Work statute as alleged, defendants are entitled to summary judgment on Count XIX. [Emphasis added.]

Count XX – Civil Conspiracy

In the final count of the First Amended Complaint, plaintiffs assert a claim for civil conspiracy against all defendants. [DE 67 at 40.] The facts alleged in support of Count XX are that all the defendants made an agreement to commit an unlawful attack against the plaintiffs by unlawful means, and that at least one tortious act (the battery of Kudingo) was committed in furtherance of the agreement.

Again plaintiffs’ summary judgment analysis is brief and conclusory.

“Veach and Williamson admit to a Hobb’s (sic) Act Extortion Conspiracy, a combination complete at common law as officers of Local 395 performing their jobs for Local 395.”

The union opposes summary judgment on the ground that “[i]n Indiana, there is no separate civil cause of action for conspiracy.”

The union opposes summary judgment on the ground that “[i]n Indiana, there is no separate civil cause of action for conspiracy.”

The union opposes summary judgment on the ground that “[i]n Indiana, there is no separate civil cause of action for conspiracy.” [Emphasis added.]

In sum, civil conspiracy is a theory of liability when paired with an underlying tort; it’s not a separate claim.

In this case, it is entirely unclear what tort or torts underlie the civil conspiracy claim.

As for any other tort claim by plaintiffs, summary judgment will be granted to the defendants on any theory based on a civil conspiracy because, after being challenged by defendants’ summary judgment motion, plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate how the undisputed facts entitle them to judgment on a theory of civil conspiracy. [Emphasis added.]

Tomorrow: Conclusion


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January 7, 2016, “Old School” “Violant Assault” on McHenry County Firm’s Nonunion Workers Results in Lawsuit Victory against Indiana Ironworkers Local 395 Union – Part 8 Right to Work Interference & Conspiracy — 1 Comment

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