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04/05/76 WASHINGTON v. CHRYSLER CORPORATION

April 5, 1976

WASHINGTON
v.
CHRYSLER CORPORATION



Appeal from Wayne, Richard M. Maher, J.

D. E. Holbrook, Jr., P. J., and McGregor and N. J. Kaufman, JJ.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Limitation of Actions -- Tolling of Statute of Limitations -- Statutes.

Statutes of limitations are tolled when (1) the complaint is filed and a copy of the summons and complaint are served on the defendant, or when (2) jurisdiction over the defendant is otherwise acquired, or when (3) the complaint is filed and a copy of the summons and complaint in good faith, are placed in the hands of an officer for immediate service, in which case the statute shall not be tolled longer than 90 days thereafter (MCLA 600.5856; MSA 27A.5856).

2. Limitation of Actions -- Employment -- Discriminatory Practices -- Independent Remedies.

Contractual, statutory and constitutional rights which an employee may assert against alleged discriminatory employment practices are independent remedies; therefore, the pursuit of one remedy does not toll the limitation period applicable to another remedy.

3. Torts -- Limitation of Actions -- Representation by Unions.

Claims by an employee against his union based upon allegations of unfair representation sound in tort not contract; therefore, the tort three-year statute of limitations applies to charges by an employee that a union and its officers have failed to fairly represent the employee in the course of negotiations for the reinstatement of his job.

4. Limitation of Actions -- Administrative Remedies -- Civil Remedies.

The statute of limitations applicable to a civil action is not tolled by prior action seeking administrative relief for the same harm or transaction, since remedies sought from an administrative agency may not be concurrent in scope, purpose or source with the remedies provided in the civil action and the limitation periods and parties may likewise differ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kaufman

Complaint by Willie Washington against Chrysler Corporation, UAW/CIO Local 51, and others, for damages for wrongful discharge from employment. A motion by defendant Chrysler Corporation for summary judgment was denied. On interlocutory appeal, reversed and remanded. Washington v Chrysler Corporation, 63 Mich App 156 (1975). On remand, the trial court granted an accelerated judgment in favor of defendants union and union officers. Plaintiff appeals.

Plaintiff Willie Washington appeals from the grant by the Wayne County Circuit Court of a motion made by defendant union and defendant union officers for an accelerated judgment against him, GCR 1963, 116.1(5). The accelerated judgment was based on a finding by the trial court that plaintiff's claim was barred by the statute of limitations.

The course of this sustained litigation began on May 1, 1968 when plaintiff was fired from his job at Chrysler Corporation. On November 17, 1969, plaintiff filed a complaint before the Michigan Civil Rights Commission wherein he alleged that he had been discriminated against because of race. The allegation was basically that Chrysler had failed to reinstate plaintiff while they had agreed to reinstate white employees guilty of similar misconduct. On February 8, 1971, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission ordered a dismissal of the charge finding that there was no evidence of ...


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