In September of 2013, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky heard a case involving a plaintiff’s Kentucky FMLA case. (See Raymer v. Western and Southern Life Ins. Co., 2013 WL 4875029 (E.D. Ky. 2013)). This case began as a legal malpractice case. Plaintiff was terminated by defendant on or around August 31, 2010. Plaintiff had signed a Sales Representative Agreement with the defendant which stated in part that plaintiff would not commence any action or lawsuit against the defendant corporation relating to her employment but instead to follow the Dispute Resolution Program. The DPR had an arbitration provision that required that arbitration be requested within six months after plaintiff’s termination. In November 2011, plaintiff fired her lawyer and hired her new attorney. In 2012 plaintiff filed a legal malpractice action against her previous attorney. Her new Kentucky Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) lawyer had two fights on his hands now. One against the pervious attorney and one against the defendant corporation.
At issue before the court was whether or not the federal court had jurisdiction to hear the case. It was originally filed in State court but then noticed to move to federal court. The law states that the party seeking removal bears the burden of demonstrating the district court has original jurisdiction. (cites omitted). Plaintiff’s FMLA complaint alleges violations of her FMLA, ERISA and ADA rights. Thus, the court had jurisdiction over these claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 1331. Id. This was good for plaintiff’s Kentucky Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) lawyer.
But, the legal malpractice claim does not arise under federal law but instead is based on Kentucky state law. Id. Supplemental jurisdiction is allowed by the district court when the other claims are “… so related to claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy under Article III of the United States Constitution.” (cites omitted). “Claims form part of the same case or controversy when they derive from a common nucleus of operative facts.” (cites omitted). The legal malpractice claim will require proof of different facts, will involve different witnesses, and apply different law said this federal court. Thus, this court remanded the legal malpractice claim back to the state court. The Kentucky Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) lawyer was now going to have to fight the plaintiff’s case in two courts.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) matter, please call and speak to a Kentucky Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!