Genova Burns Wins Big at Third Circuit for Monmouth Ocean Hospital Services Corporation

On March 1, 2017, Genova Burns LLC secured an important victory for its important and long-standing client Monmouth Ocean Hospital Services Corporation (“MONOC”) before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in a hard fought four-year relatively rare type of traditional labor litigation against the Professional Emergency Medical Services Association of New Jersey, IAFF Local 4610, PFANJ, AFL-CIO (”PEMSA”).  MONOC is a non-profit company comprised of fifteen acute care hospitals throughout New Jersey. Together this shared services consortium acts as a healthcare co-operative for these acute care hospitals and the over 2.8 million residents that they serve living in more than 1,800 square miles along New Jersey’s northern, central and southern shore.  The Third Circuit’s recent decision affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of PEMSA’s claims and grant of summary judgment to MONOC, which resulted in a complete and total victory for MONOC in this litigation.  The Genova Burns LLC team was led by Partner John R. Vreeland, Esq. of the Labor Law Practice Group and Chair of the Transportation, Trucking & Logistics Law Practice Group, and Partner Harris S. Freier, Esq. of the Employment Law and Appellate Practice Groups.  This marked Mr. Freier’s second Third Circuit victory for the 2017 year.   Mr. Vreeland and Mr. Freier work closely on various matters in the transportation, trucking , security, facility management, and  hospitality industries.  Associate David A. Tango, Esq. who specializes in federal court litigation and is a member of the Labor Law practice group, was the lead associate on the case.  This case concerned claims by PEMSA under Section 301 Labor Management Relations Act (“Section 301”) alleging that MONOC improperly disciplined a number of employees in violation of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement.  The collective bargaining agreement, of which Mr. Vreeland was the lead negotiator for MONOC, is unique in that it does not contain a binding grievance arbitration provision, which lead to these claims being litigated in federal court under Section 301.  This is an important victory for MONOC as it affirms MONOC’s clear and unambiguous discretion in imposing discipline under the collective bargaining agreement, including the discretion to make just cause determinations.

Mr. Vreeland is Chair of the Wage & Hour Compliance and Transportation, Trucking & Logistics Law Practice Groups and a Partner in the Labor Law Practice Group.

Mr. Freier is a Partner in the Employment Law and Appellate Practice Groups.

Mr. Tango is an Associate in the Labor Law Practice Group.