Monday, September 27, 2004

Employee's discharge, interference claims, preempted by LMRA

In Freeman v. Duke Power Co., the Fourth Circuit in a per curiam opinion for the panel of Judges Widener and Shedd and Senior Judge Hansen from the Eighth Circuit held that the wrongful discharge, tortious interference with contract, and other claims brought by the plaintiff were preempted by section 301 of the Labor-Management Relations Act, because they were too close to the collective bargaining agreement.

Among the cases cited for this was the Covenant Coal case, decided by the Fourth Circuit in 1992, which more or less overruled Judge Williams' earlier decision in the Eastover Mining case, in which he had found jurisdiction under section 301 for a tortious interference claim.

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