Decision Date12 April 1993
Docket NumberNo. 4:92CV01134 ELF.,4:92CV01134 ELF.
Citation820 F. Supp. 1192
PartiesUNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 751, As Representative of the Aggrieved Employees, Plaintiff, v. BROWN GROUP, INC., d/b/a Brown Shoe Company, Defendant.
CourtU.S. District Court — Eastern District of Missouri

Jerome A. Diekemper, Diekemper, Hammond, Shinners, Turcotte and Larrew, P.C., St. Louis, MO, Renee L. Bowser, Asst. Gen. Counsel, United Food & Commercial Workers Intern. Union, Washington, DC, for plaintiff Union.

James N. Foster, Jr., Daniel R. Begian, St. Louis, MO, for defendant.


FILIPPINE, Chief Judge.

This matter is before the Court on defendant's motion to dismiss.

Plaintiff's complaint is brought pursuant to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act ("WARN"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 2101-2109, on behalf of 277 employees of defendant's Dixon, Missouri, plant.1 Plaintiff is the certified exclusive bargaining representative of the employees on whose behalf the suit is brought. For its relief, plaintiff requests that each aggrieved employee receive back pay and various fringe benefits and that plaintiff recover its costs and attorneys' fees.

In its motion, defendant contends plaintiff does not have standing to seek the monetary damages provided for by the WARN Act. Plaintiff asserts in its response that its standing is expressly provided for by Congress in § 2104(a)(5) of the Act.

Section 2104(a)(5) provides in part that "a person seeking to enforce such liability, including a representative of employees ... may sue either for such person or for other persons similarly situated, or both,...." Despite plaintiff's assertion to the contrary, this section does not eliminate the necessity that plaintiff satisfy the requirements of constitutional standing. In order to satisfy constitutional standing under Article III, a plaintiff must show personal actual or threatened injury. Gladstone Realtors v. Village of Bellwood, 441 U.S. 91, 99, 99 S.Ct. 1601, 1607-1608, 60 L.Ed.2d 66 (1979). The actual or threatened injury may exist solely by virtue of statutes which create legal rights. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 500, 95 S.Ct. 2197, 2206, 45 L.Ed.2d 343 (1975). However, while Congress may expand standing to the full extent permitted by Article III, it may not abrogate Article III's minimum requirements. Gladstone Realtors, 441 U.S. at 100, 99 S.Ct. at 1608; Warth, 422 U.S. at 501, 95 S.Ct. at 2206 ("so long as Article III's requirement is satisfied, persons to whom Congress has granted a right of action, either expressly or by clear implication, may have standing to seek relief on the basis of the legal rights and interests of others....").

Plaintiff has not alleged any injury to itself. However, even in the absence of injury to itself, an association such as plaintiff may have standing as the representative of its members if 1) its members would otherwise have standing to sue in their own right; 2) the interests it seeks to protect are germane to the organization's purpose; and 3) neither the claim asserted nor the relief requested requires the participation of individual members in the lawsuit. Hunt v. Washington State Apple Advertising Comm'n, 432 U.S. 333, 343, 97 S.Ct. 2434, 2441, 53 L.Ed.2d 383 (1977). Defendant maintains that plaintiff cannot satisfy the second and third requirements of this test. Because it did not believe the test to be applicable, plaintiff did not address whether or not its requirements are satisfied.

The third element of the Hunt test generally does not present the same obstacle to...

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5 cases
  • UMWA, DIST. 2 v. Florence Min. Co., Civ. A. No. 93-1058.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • April 11, 1994
    ...Group, Inc., No. 92-CV01678, 1993 WL 414718 (E.D.Mo. Sept. 27, 1993) (Jackson, J.); United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 751 v. Brown Group, Inc., 820 F.Supp. 1192 (E.D.Mo.1993) (Filippine, C.J.). See also Office of Professional Employees International Union Local 2, AFL-CIO v. F......
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Intern. Union, Local 751 v. Brown Group, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit
    • May 25, 1995
    ...any injury to itself," the District Court did rule on the UFCW's direct standing, however summarily. UFCW Local 751 v. Brown Group, Inc., 820 F.Supp. 1192, 1193 (E.D.Mo.1993). Thus we may properly consider the issue on "A plaintiff must allege personal injury fairly traceable to the defenda......
  • United Food & Commercial Workers' v. Brown Group
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • May 13, 1996
    ...of its members, courts have found that such claims necessarily require participation of individual members in the suit." 820 F. Supp. 1192, 1193-1194 (ED Mo. 1993). The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed, concluding that "[e]ach union member who wishes to recover WARN Act dama......
  • Newsom v. Continental Grain Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Minnesota
    • May 10, 1993
    ... ... Civ. No. 4-91-836 ... United States District Court, D. Minnesota, Fourth ... on a particular vessel or on a specific group of vessels "is an eroding element to the seaman ... ...
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