PROVIDENCE, R.I., Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, January 11, 2013, a 12-Man New Bedford, Massachusetts Jury awarded 44 year-old David Garant $350,000, which with interest amounted to $534,686, in a civil claim against the Labor Advantage Workers Union, Local 254, based on Mr. Garant's claim that the union breached its duty to fairly represent him as a result of his termination by Westport, Massachusetts Highway Superintendent Jack Sisson in March, 2007.
The case developed as a result of the failure of the union to file a grievance on Garant's behalf after he had been terminated by Superintendent Sisson. Sisson alleged that Garant was fired as a result of his failure to report to him that his license had been suspended for failure to pay a $35 fine for a seatbelt violation in Connecticut. However, the evidence at the trial proved that Garant was not fired for that reason, but was fired as a result of personal disagreements with Sisson. Evidence also proved that other members of the highway department were also operating equipment without proper licenses with full knowledge by Sisson, yet none were terminated.
Because the union failed to file a grievance on his behalf, Mr. Garant was required to retain his own attorney. At his own expense, and without the help of the union which Garant claimed was obligated under the union contract to represent his grievance, he hired the services of Attorney Brian R. Cunha to file his claim against Sisson and the Town of Westport. Mr. Garant was subsequently reinstated to his position as an employee of the Highway Department in July, 2007. However, Sisson refused to reinstate Garant in the Highway Department, for which he was originally hired, and instead required him to work as a janitor in the Town Hall.
Garant, along with his attorney Brian R. Cunha filed suit against the Town of Westport, against Highway Superintendent Jack Sisson, and against the Union. In 2009, Mr. Garant, through the Law Offices of Brian Cunha & Associates, reached a settlement against the Town of Westport and Sisson in the amount of $50,000. However, the claim against the union remained unsettled.
Garant claimed that as result of the failure of the union to file a grievance on his behalf, he lost his laborer/trucking job with the Town of Westport, from which he hoped to retire. In addition he lost his medical benefits and his pension.
According to Attorney Brian R. Cunha, "The jury obviously agreed with Mr. Garant that unions are obligated to represent its members vigorously, without discrimination, and in good faith, which the union failed to do." Cunha added, "This verdict fairly compensates Mr. Garant for the loss of a job in which he planned to retire and to provide for his wife and children. It also represents an end, at least to Mr. Garant, to the seemingly never-ending battle between Highway Superintendent Jack Sisson, the Town of Westport and the union."
The Law Offices of Brian Cunha & Associates specializes in personal injury and worker's compensation cases and represents the rights of clients from all over New England, including Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island with three convenient offices in East Providence, Rhode Island, Fall River and New Bedford, Massachusetts. If you or someone you know has been injured or if someone has violated your rights, contact Attorney Brian R. Cunha at The Law Offices of Brian Cunha & Associates, 508-675-9500, or click on http://www.briancunha.com.
SOURCE The Law Offices of Brian Cunha & Associates