Thursday, September 9, 2010
Northern California non-dispositive digest
In Nalbandian v. Lockheed Martin (Judge Lisa Koh), the plaintiffs are asserting that they are entitled to a survivor's share of their deceased father's retirement pension at Lockheed Martin under the Employee Retirement Income Savings Act of 1974 (ERISA). Lockheed Martin disagrees stating that under the terms of the plan the father died before receiving retirement benefits and therefore was never "retired" under the terms of the plan. Therefore the children should receive a (substantially smaller) life insurance payment. Interestingly, the plaintiffs asked for "civil penalties," realized those weren't available and subsequently rescinded the request.
In Bloom v. Claimetrics Management LLC, the plaintiff wanted to hear a breach of contract case in San Francisco. However, the contract had a forum selection clause requiring disputes to be heard in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. Judge William Alsup transferred the case to Nevada.
In Dang v. Sutter's Place, Inc., the plaintiff sued the defendant under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. She also sued her union for failing to handle her grievance and for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED). Judge Ronald White ruled that unions have a very low standard of care for handling grievances and more information was needed about how bad this really was. The IIED claim was preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947. Judge White dismissed both claims.
In Flores v. City of Hayward, the plaintiff complains that the police had a dog attack him without provocation and he filed a claim with the city for damages. The city denied the claim, but Flores was unable to appeal the claim within the statute of limitations because he was in jail. Chief Magistrate Maria-Elena James didn't buy the excuse, "Pro se legal actions are routinely filed by prisoners." She dismissed the claim with prejudice.