Garity v. APWU, No. 13-15195 (9th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed two complaints against APWU in federal court, alleging a contractual breach of APWU’s duty of fair representation in the first, and alleging a series of violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., and Nevada state tort laws in the second. One district court judge dismissed plaintiff's first complaint. The second district court judge dismissed the second complaint, ruling that, because a prima facie claim of disability discrimination against a union necessarily required a showing of a breach of the duty of fair representation, plaintiff's ADA claims were barred by the issue preclusion doctrine. The court endorsed the Seventh Circuit’s reasoning in Green v. American Federation of Teachers/Illinois Federation of Teachers Local 604, and held that a prima facie disability discrimination claim against a union does not require that a plaintiff demonstrate that the union breached its duty of fair representation. In this case, plaintiff's ADA claims are not barred by issue preclusion. The court also found that plaintiff's second complaint survives APWU's claim preclusion challenge. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings.