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Burns Jackson Miller Summit & Spitzer v. Lindner
New York Court of Appeals
451 N.E.2d 459 (1985)
In April 1980, subway and bus transit workers in New York City went on strike. The law firm of Burns Jackson Miller Summit & Spitzer (Burns Jackson) (plaintiff) sued the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO (TWU), the Amalgamated Transit Union, AFL-CIO (ATU), Local 100 of the TWU, Locals 726 and 1056 of the ATU, and their respective officers (the transit unions) (defendants) in a class action to recover damages caused by the transit strike. Burns Jackson alleged that the transit strike was intentional and violated both § 210 of the Taylor Law (Article 14 of the Civil Service Law) and a preliminary injunction. A second action was brought in New York County by the law firm of Jackson, Lewis, Schnitzler, and Krupman (Jackson, Lewis) (plaintiff) against the TWU, its Local 100, and their respective officers. Jackson, Lewis’s action was not a class action, but it was removed to Queens and joined to Burns Jackson’s action. Their common cause of action was prima facie tort. The Taylor Law banned strikes by public employees, and Burns Jackson argued that a cause of action should not be denied because the injury-causing act was unlawful. The transit unions moved to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action. The special term court denied the motions, except as to Jackson, Lewis’s cause of action. On cross-appeals, the appellate division modified the order to dismiss both complaints in their entirety. Both Burns Jackson and Jackson, Lewis appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Meyer, J.)
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