Johnson v. Delphi Corp., No. C-3-02-313.

CourtU.S. District Court — Southern District of Ohio
Writing for the CourtRice
Citation261 F.Supp.2d 955
PartiesRussell JOHNSON, et al., Plaintiffs, v. DELPHI CORPORATION, Defendant.
Decision Date25 March 2003
Docket NumberNo. C-3-02-313.
261 F.Supp.2d 955
Russell JOHNSON, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DELPHI CORPORATION, Defendant.
No. C-3-02-313.
United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division.
March 25, 2003.

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Dwight Allan Washington, Washington & Hollingsworth, Dayton, OH, for plaintiffs.

Colleen A. Deep, Robert William Edmund, Jones Day Reavis & Pogue, Columbus, OH, Andrew M. Kramer, Jones Day Reavis & Pogue, Washington, DC, for defendant.

EXPANDED OPINION; DECISION AND ENTRY SUSTAINING DFENDANT'S MOTION TO DIMISS, TREATED AS ONE FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. #6); JUDGMENT TO BE ETERED IN FAVOR OF DEFEDANT AND AGAINST PLAITIFFS; TERMINATION ENTRY

RICE, Chief Judge.


Plaintiffs1 are experienced skilled tradesmen (e.g., electricians, plumbers, millwrights, mechanical repairmen, and tinners), who were hired by Defendant Delphi Chassis Systems ("Delphi") in 1999 and 2000.2 Prior to interviewing for employment with Delphi, Plaintiffs each completed a job application, which contained information about their work background and experience, as well as their current employment status, including their pay and fringe benefits. Their applications revealed that their hourly rate of pay from their then-current employers was greater than that offered by Defendan As part of the hiring process, Plaintiffs were interviewed by Ms. Carol Duff ("Duff), Delphi's Hourly Employment Coordinator. Duff had access to the information contained on the job applications. During the interviews, Duff allegedly represented to and promised each of the Plaintiffs that, due to the work schedule (i.e., the hours of work offered by Delphi to Plaintiffs), they would earn more pay for a fixed period of time than in their current jobs. Duff further informed each of the Plaintiffs that, until September of 2002, the work schedule guaranteed each Plaintiff the opportunity to work for seven days a week and twelve hours a day ("7/12"), with no reservations. Based on these representations, Plaintiffs resigned from their positions and accepted employment with Delphi. In December of 2000, Delphi unilaterally stopped the 7/12 Program without notice to Plaintiffs. Defendant has refused to reinstate the program, despite repeated requests. As a result, Plaintiffs have suffered extreme financial hardship and emotional distress.

On May 28, 2002, Plaintiffs initiated the instant litigation in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, setting forth six claims for relief, to wit: (1) breach of implied contract; (2) promissory estoppel; (3) fraud in the inducement; (4) fraud; (5) misrepresentation; and (6) negligent infliction of emotional distress (Doc. # 1).3 On July 10, 2002, Defendant removed the action to this Court, asserting that subject matter jurisdiction exists due to both the existence of a federal question, 29 U.S.C. § 1331, and diversity of citizenship, 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (Doc. # 1).

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Pending before the Court is Delphi's Motion to Dismiss, pursuant to Fed. R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) (Doc. #6). For the reasons assigned, Defendant's Motion, treated as one for summary judgment, is SUSTAINED.4

I. Standard Governing Defendant's Motion

Summary judgment must be entered "against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). Of course, the moving party:

always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any," which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.

Id. at 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548; see also Boretti v. Wiscomb, 930 F.2d 1150, 1156 (6th Cir. 1991)(The moving party has the "burden of showing that the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions and affidavits in the record, construed favorably to the nonmoving party, do not raise a genuine issue of material fact for trial.")(quoting Gutierrez v. Lynch, 826 F.2d 1534, 1536 (6th Cir.1987)). The burden then shifts to the nonmoving party who "must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986)(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). Thus, "[o]nce the moving party has met its initial burden, the nonmoving party must present evidence that creates a genuine issue of material fact making it necessary to resolve the difference at trial." Talley v. Bravo Pitino Restaurant, Ltd., 61 F.3d 1241, 1245 (6th Cir.1995). Read together, Liberty Lobby and Celotex stand for the proposition that a party may move for summary judgment by demonstrating that the opposing party will not be able to produce sufficient evidence at trial to withstand a directed verdict motion (now known as a motion for judgment as a matter of law, Fed.R.Civ.P. 50). Street v. J.C. Bradford & Co., 886 F.2d 1472, 1478 (6th Cir.1989).

Once the burden of production has so shifted, the party opposing summary judgment cannot rest on its pleadings or merely reassert its previous allegations. It is not sufficient to "simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986); see also Michigan Protection and Advocacy Serv., Inc. v. Babin, 18 F.3d 337, 341 (6th Cir.

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1994)("The plaintiff must present more than a scintilla of evidence in support of his position; the evidence must be such that a jury could reasonably find for the plaintiff.") Rather, Rule 56(e) "requires the nonmoving party to go beyond the [unverified] pleadings" and present some type of evidentiary material in support of its position. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324, 106 S.Ct. 2548. Summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). Summary judgment shall be denied "[i]f there are ... `genuine factual issues that properly can be resolved only by a finder of fact because they may reasonably be resolved in favor of either party.'" Hancock v. Doolson, 958 F.2d 1367, 1374 (6th Cir. 1992) (citation omitted). Of course, in determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, a court must assume as true the evidence of the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of that party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255, 106 S.Ct. 2505 (emphasis added). If the parties present conflicting evidence, a court may not decide which evidence to believe, by determining which parties' affiants are more credible; rather, credibility determinations must be left to the factfinder. 10A Wright, Miller & Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure, § 2726. In ruling on a motion for summary judgment (in other words, in determining whether there is a genuine issue of material fact), "[a] district court is not ... obligated to wade through and search the entire record for some specific facts that might support the nonmoving party's claim." InterRoyal Corp. v. Sponseller, 889 F.2d 108, 111 (6th Cir.1989), cert, denied 494 U.S. 1091, 110 S.Ct. 1839, 108 L.Ed.2d 967 (1990); see also L.S. Heath & Son, Inc. v. AT & T Information Systems, Inc., 9 F.3d 561 (7th Cir.1993); Skotak v. Tenneco Resins, Inc., 953 F.2d 909, 915 n. 7 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 832, 113 S.Ct. 98, 121 L.Ed.2d 59 (1992)("Rule 56 does not impose upon the district court a duty to sift through the record in search of evidence to support a party's opposition to summary judgment....") Thus, a court is entitled to rely, in determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists on a particular issue, only upon those portions of the verified pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with any affidavits submitted, specifically called to its attention by the parties.

II. Defendant's Motion (Doc. # 6)

Defendant asserts that Plaintiffs' claims must be dismissed, because they are inextricably intertwined with Delphi's collective bargaining agreements with IUCWA and Local 755 ("the Union") and, therefore, they are preempted by Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 185. Defendant further argues that the claims are preempted by the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 151-169. Thus, Defendant contends that Plaintiffs' claims belong either before an arbitrator or the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB"). Because the Court concludes that Plaintiffs' claims are precluded by § 301, only that argument will be addressed.

A. Complete Preemption under Section 301 of the LMRA

There are two aspects to federal preemption of state law: conflict preemption and complete preemption. Conflict preemption arises where compliance with both federal and state law is a physically impossible, or "where state law stands as an

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obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress." Hines v. Davickwitz, 312 U.S. 52, 67, 61 S.Ct. 399, 85 L.Ed. 581 (1941); Silkwood v. Kerr-McGee Corp., 464 U.S. 238, 248, 104 S.Ct. 615, 78 L.Ed.2d 443 (1984); see Warner v. Ford Motor Co., 46 F.3d 531, 533 (6th Cir.1994)(en banc)(discussing difference between conflict and complete preemption). In contrast, "[i]f Congress evidences an intent to occupy a given field, any state law falling within that field is [completely] preempted." Pacific Gas & Elec. Co. v. State Energy Resources Conserv. & Dev. Comm'n, 461 U.S. 190, 103 S.Ct. 1713, 75 L.Ed.2d 752 (1983).

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5 practice notes
  • Stringer v. National Football League, No. 2:03 CV 665.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • February 1, 2007
    ...prevent the Court from converting the Rule 12 motion to a Rule 56 motion for summary judgment. Id. See also Johnson v. Delphi Corp., 261 F.Supp.2d 955, 958 n. 4 (S.D.Ohio 2003); Max Arnold, 452 F.3d at 504. This Court will therefore treat the NFL Defendants' motion as one for summary judgme......
  • Mitchell v. Fujitec Am., Inc., Case No. 1:20–cv–363
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • February 8, 2021
    ...of a contract, performance by the plaintiff, breach by the defendant, and damage or loss to the plaintiff." Johnson v. Delphi Corp. , 261 F. Supp. 2d 955, 961 (S.D. Ohio 2003). The Fujitec Defendants’ principal contention here seems to be that Mitchell has not plausibly alleged a contract e......
  • Mitchell v. Fujitec Am., Inc., Case No. 1:20-cv-363
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • February 8, 2021
    ...of a contract, performance by the plaintiff, breach by the defendant, and damage or loss to the plaintiff." Johnson v. Delphi Corp., 261 F. Supp. 2d 955, 961 (S.D. Ohio 2003). The Fujitec Defendants' principal contention here seems to be that Mitchell has not plausibly alleged a contract ex......
  • Mitchell v. Fujitec Am., Inc., 1:20-cv-363
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • March 21, 2022
    ...of a contract, performance by the plaintiff, breach by the defendant, and damage or loss to the plaintiff.” Johnson v. Delphi Corp., 261 F.Supp.2d 955, 961 (S.D. Ohio 2003). As for an implied contract in the employment context, “[g]iven the presumption of at-will employment, the party seeki......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Stringer v. National Football League, No. 2:03 CV 665.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • February 1, 2007
    ...prevent the Court from converting the Rule 12 motion to a Rule 56 motion for summary judgment. Id. See also Johnson v. Delphi Corp., 261 F.Supp.2d 955, 958 n. 4 (S.D.Ohio 2003); Max Arnold, 452 F.3d at 504. This Court will therefore treat the NFL Defendants' motion as one for summary judgme......
  • Mitchell v. Fujitec Am., Inc., Case No. 1:20–cv–363
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • February 8, 2021
    ...of a contract, performance by the plaintiff, breach by the defendant, and damage or loss to the plaintiff." Johnson v. Delphi Corp. , 261 F. Supp. 2d 955, 961 (S.D. Ohio 2003). The Fujitec Defendants’ principal contention here seems to be that Mitchell has not plausibly alleged a contract e......
  • Mitchell v. Fujitec Am., Inc., Case No. 1:20-cv-363
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • February 8, 2021
    ...of a contract, performance by the plaintiff, breach by the defendant, and damage or loss to the plaintiff." Johnson v. Delphi Corp., 261 F. Supp. 2d 955, 961 (S.D. Ohio 2003). The Fujitec Defendants' principal contention here seems to be that Mitchell has not plausibly alleged a contract ex......
  • Mitchell v. Fujitec Am., Inc., 1:20-cv-363
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • March 21, 2022
    ...of a contract, performance by the plaintiff, breach by the defendant, and damage or loss to the plaintiff.” Johnson v. Delphi Corp., 261 F.Supp.2d 955, 961 (S.D. Ohio 2003). As for an implied contract in the employment context, “[g]iven the presumption of at-will employment, the party seeki......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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