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Cullen v. Henry Haywood Mem. Hosp.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

March 26, 2015

CARRIE CULLEN., Plaintiff,
v.
THE HENRY HAYWOOD MEMORIAL HOSPITAL and MASSACHUSETTS NURSING ASSOCIATION, Defendants

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For Carrie` Cullen, Plaintiff: Gregory W. Wheeler, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of Gregory W. Wheeler, Leominster, MA.

For Massachusetts Nurses Association, Defendant: James F. Lamond, LEAD ATTORNEY, Andrew M. MacDonald, McDonald, Lamond, Canzoneri & Hickernell, Southborough, MA.

For Henry Heywood Memorial Hospital, Defendant: Todd A Newman, LEAD ATTORNEY, Schwartz Hannum PC, Andover, MA.

Page 133

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT HENRY HAYWOOD HOSPITAL'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND DEFENDANT MASSACHUSETTS NURSING ASSOCIATION'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN, DISTRICT JUDGE.

Background

Plaintiff, Carrie Cullen (" Plaintiff" ) has filed a Complaint against defendants, Henry Haywood Memorial Hospital (" the Hospital" ) and the Massachusetts Nursing Association (" MNA" ) alleging violations of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a), discrimination under Mass. Gen. L. c.151B and state tort claims. The Hospital moved to dismiss all counts asserted against under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The MNA filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings on all claims against it, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). This Court heard oral argument on that motion, at which time Plaintiff conceded that the following claims be dismissed as they are preempted by Section 301: wrongful termination against the Hospital (Count II); intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count V) and negligent infliction of emotional distress (Count VI) against the MNA. This memorandum of decision addresses the remaining claims: Counts I, IV, V, and VI against the Hospital and Counts III and IV against the MNA.

Facts

For the purposes of this motion, all facts set forth in the Complaint will be accepted as true. On or about June 9, 2008, Plaintiff began employment with the Hospital as a registered nurse and she primarily worked in the obstetrical department. As a registered nurse employed by the Hospital, Plaintiff was a member of the MNA, which is a labor organization which serves as the representative of a bargaining unit of staff registered nurses employed by the Hospital. The MNA and the Hospital have been parties to a series of collective bargaining agreements (" CBAs" ), including the one that was in effect from October 1, 2011 through September 31, 2013. Plaintiff performed her job without incident until she injured her hip on January 16, 2012 and had to take a medical leave of absence while she underwent surgery, treatment, and physical therapy for her injuries.

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In early April 2013, the Hospital held a meeting with the MNA and the Plaintiff, at which it intended to tell the Plaintiff that her employment would be ended if she was not then able to return to work. During that meeting, the Hospital agreed to the MNA's proposal that in lieu of terminating her employment, the Hospital would extend Plaintiff's leave of absence by an additional six months, until November 1, 2013. Among other things, the MNA agreed that it would not file a contract grievance in the event that the Hospital terminated the Plaintiff's employment due to her inability to return to work by the new deadline. In early September, 2013, Plaintiff had not returned to work, but was medically authorized to return to work on a modified or light duty basis. The Hospital, however, did not offer her a light duty assignment and terminated her employment on November 7, 2013 because Plaintiff had not returned to work. The MNA did not file a grievance challenging that termination and there is no allegation that the Plaintiff ...


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