Small v. Avanti Health Systems, LLC

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Labor Law
  • Date Filed: 10-31-2011
  • Case #: 11-55563
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Reinhardt for the Court; Circuit Judge Wardlaw; Circuit Judge Berzon
  • Full Text Opinion

A successor employer's failure to negotiate with a union is at least as harmful as an employer who negotiates in bad faith and is grounds for an injunctive relief.

As part of a bankruptcy proceeding, Karykeion Inc. sold Community Hospital of Huntington Park to a LLC that was created by Avanti Health Systems. When Avanti's LLC took control of the hospital, the new administration refused to negotiate or recognize the union that had previously represented the registered nurses of the hospital. As a result, a director with the National Labor Relations Board filed suit against the LLC alleging violations of the National Labor Relations Act and seeking injunctive relief. The district court granted the preliminary injunction and Avanti appeals. Avanti argues that because they never entered into negotiations with the nurses union that there could not have been any irreparable harm as required to grant the injunction. The Ninth Circuit held that while prior cases addressed employers that negotiated in bad faith, failure to negotiate at all is at least as harmful as negotiating in bad faith and therefore the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting the injunction. AFFIRMED.

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