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Tuvia Convalescent Center Inc. v. National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees

September 8, 1983

TUVIA CONVALESCENT CENTER, INC., D/B/A HILLDALE CONVALESCENT HOME, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
NATIONAL UNION OF HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CARE EMPLOYEES, A DIVISION OF RWDSU, AFL-CIO, TRUSTEES, "1199" NATIONAL BENEFIT FUND FOR HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CARE EMPLOYEES, TRUSTEES, "1199" NATIONAL PENSION FUND FOR HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CARE EMPLOYEES, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from an order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Milton Pollack, Judge, granting defendants' Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Affirmed.

Author: Pierce

Before: KEARSE, PIERCE and PRATT, Circuit Judges.

PIERCE, Circuit Judge:

This is an appeal from an order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Milton Pollack, Judge, entered on December 21, 1982, granting defendants-appellees' Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

I. BACKGROUND

The plaintiff-appellant, Tuvia Convalescent Center, Inc., d/b/a Hilldale Convalescent Home ("Tuvia"), is a corporation duly organized under the laws of the State of Connecticut. It maintained its principal place of business in Bloomfield, Connecticut, and operated as a nursing home and health care facility. Defendant-appellee National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, a Division of RWDSU, AFL-CIO ("National Union"), is an unincorporated association and labor union with its principal place of business located in New York, New York. Defendant-appellee Trustees, "1199" National Benefit Fund for Hospital and Health Care Employees, is an employee welfare benefit plan and defendant-appellee Trustee, "1199" National Pension Fund for Hospital and Health Care Employees (both collectively referred to hereinafter as "the Funds"), is an employee pension benefit plan. The Funds maintain their principal places of business in New York, New York. The New England Health Care Employee Union, District 1119, RWDSU, AFL-CIO ("Local Union"), is not a named defendant in this action.

The Local Union represented a collective bargaining unit of nurses, nurses aides, dietary aides, housekeeping employees, maids, porters, maintenance persons and laundry workers employed by Tuvia. On November 12, 1979, the Local Union and Tuvia entered into a collective bargaining agreement which was to expire on October 1, 1980. The National Union was not a signatory to this agreement.

On September 30, 1980, Tuvia entered into an interim agreement with the Local Union. The interim agreement stated in pertinent part that:

WHEREAS, the union and the employer will be engaged in collective bargaining, looking toward a renewal of the expired collective bargaining agreement for a further period of time, and

WHEREAS, during this inter regnum [sic] period there will be no agreement in effect binding on the parties and the parties are, nevertheless, in accord that the benefit coverage of its employees under the National Benefit Fund for Hospital and Health Care Employees ("Fund") shall continue during the entire period of time necessary to arrive at a mutually agreeable renewal of the collective bargaining agreement. . . .

The interim agreement was to have effect during the period of negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement after October 1, 1980. It was signed by a representative of the Local Union, by a representative of Tuvia, and by a representative of the National Union, Doris Turner.

The negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement failed and on or about November 25, 1980, a strike of Tuvia's bargaining unit employees ensued. In early January, 1981, Tuvia closed its nursing home and health care facility, allegedly as a result of the defendants' activities surrounding the negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.

On August 9, 1982, Tuvia filed a complaint asserting various causes of action against the aforementioned defendants. The complaint alleged that the National Union had withheld information necessary for informed and good faith bargaining, conducted an unfair labor strike, supported violence surrounding the labor strike, violated the collective bargaining agreement which expired on October 1, 1980, and falsely imprisoned Tuvia's labor representatives during the collective bargaining negotiations. The complaint also alleged that the Funds and the National Union combined and conspired to refuse to provide Tuvia with the financial data and collective bargaining information that it requested. Tuvia further asserted that this conspiracy had an anti-competitive impact as it restrained trade and suppressed competition in interstate commerce and in Connecticut's nursing home industry. The last claim asserted that the Funds violated their fiduciary duties under title I, section 404(a)(1)(A) and (B) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1104(a)(1)(A) and (B) (1976 & Supp. V. 1981). Tuvia sought monetary damages of $3,770,000.

On or about October 6 and 15, 1982, the Funds and the National Union moved to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The National Union asserted: that complete diversity as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (1976) was lacking between the parties; that any claims for relief under section 301 of the Labor-Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185 (1976), were within the exclusive jurisdiction of an arbitrator; that any claim for relief under the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 151-169 (1976 & Supp. V. 1981), was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board; and that the antitrust claims were precluded by the labor exemption contained in 15 U.S.C. § 17 (1976). The National Union further asserted that the claims under section 301 of the Labor-Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185 (1976), were improper because it was not a party to the collective bargaining agreement between Tuvia and the Local Union, and that it was not ...


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