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Federal Appeals Court Allows Civil RICO Claim Against Labor Unions To Proceed


Last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued an important decision in the case of Care One Management LLC,  v. United Healthcare Workers East. Originally arising out of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, the dispute centers around civil RICO violation allegations (racketeering allegations) involving a labor union. The appeals court determined the company could pursue its civil RICO lawsuit against the union. In this article, our Miami RICO claims lawyer provides an analysis of the decision from the appeals court.

Civil RICO Case Review: Care One Management LLC,  v. United Healthcare Workers East 

Background & Facts 

The plaintiff (Care One Management LLC) owns and operates a large number of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The defendant (United Healthcare Workers East) is a labor union that is part of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The central dispute began more than ten years ago when United Healthcare Workers East filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The union alleges unfair labor practices at facilities in New Jersey and Connecticut.

A work stoppage was scheduled. Shortly before the strike, three facilities owned and operated by Care One Management LLC were vandalized. Significant damage reportedly occurred. The matter was investigated by authorities, but no suspects were identified nor were any criminal charges ever filed. The company alleges that the Union advocated such “militant” activity, engaging in attempted extortion and civil RICO violations.  

The Legal Dispute 

A number of civil lawsuits were filed against the labor union by the company. The trial court in Connecticut dismissed all claims except for one—a civil RICO claim for extortion through sabotage. The trial court determined that, based on the information provided, it is possible that a reasonable jury could potentially infer that the union engaged in a civil RICO violation. The matter was appealed by the labor union on the grounds that the civil RICO claim should have been dismissed.

 The Appeals Court Decision 

On review, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the trial court’s decision. While it did not rule that the union was actually responsible for a civil RICO violation due to extortion through sabotage, the court did find that sufficient allegations were raised to make this a matter for a jury to decide. The company will have its opportunity to make its civil RICO claim to a jury.

Consult With Our Miami, FL Civil RICO Attorney Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida civil racketeering lawyers are devoted to solving problems and protecting the rights of our clients. If you have any questions about civil RICO claims and labor unions, we are more than ready to help. Give us a phone call now or connect with us online to arrange a fully private case assessment. From our Miami office, our West Palm Beach office, and our Wellington office, we handle civil RICO cases throughout Southeastern Florida.



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