Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Unusual MDV - Union Held Liable for Defamation


It probably sounded like a good idea at the time -- involved in a labor dispute with the company that did the laundry for Sutter Health hospitals, why not mail out post cards to women of child bearing age telling them that the hospitals used dirty linens. According to a union spokesman at the time:
"Our postcard was not about the quality of care Sutter workers provide," she told the San Francisco Business Times, "but about the quality of linens provided by Angelica Textiles." Cooper said Unite Here wants Sutter to exert its market power to put pressure on Angelica to improve conditions for workers at its plants.
According to a story in the Sacramento Bee, the post card sent to 11,000 in Northern California said, "you may be bringing home more than your baby if you deliver at a Sutter birthing center."

Unlike the recent Guiness ad, "Brilliant" is hardly the word being uttered about this bright idea at the headquarters of Unite Here following Friday's verdict in the lawsuit brought by Sutter, Union Must Pay Millions in Defamation Case. How "un-brilliant?" $17.3 million according to the jury.

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