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Wrobbel v. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

March 29, 2010

GAIL WROBBEL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS, LOCAL 17, A LABOR ORGANIZATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Victoria A. Roberts United States District Judge

HONORABLE VICTORIA A. ROBERTS

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

On March 12, 2010, this Court entered an Order denying Defendant Local 17's Motion in Limine for Admission of Evidence Relating to Amount that Plaintiff Wrobbel Received in Settlement of her Claims Against Asplundh (Dkt. #143). On March 26, 2010, Plaintiff filed this Motion for Reconsideration (Dkt. #164). Plaintiff's motion is DENIED.

Plaintiff contends the Order does not state whether the injuries allegedly caused by Asplundh and Local 17 are factually separable or indivisible. This is only partially correct. The Court did not rule on this matter, because it determined that, under Michigan law, the issue must be put to the jury. (Order 8-9 (citing Michie v. Great Lakes Steel Div., Nat'l Steel Corp., 495 F.2d 213, 216-17 (6th Cir. 1974) (quoting Maddux v. Donaldson, 108 N.W.2d 33, 362 Mich. 425, 432-33 (1961)); Oakwood Homeowners Ass'n v. Ford Motor Co., 258 N.W.2d 475, 77 Mich. App. 197, 218-19 (1977)).) Therefore, the separability of Plaintiff's injuries is not for the Court to decide.

Plaintiff also appears to suggest the Court should hold that, as a matter of law, her injuries are separable. The Court disagrees. In Wrobbel v. Hydaker-Wheatlake Co. and IBEW Local 17, No. 09-101353-CD (Wayne County Cir. Ct.), Plaintiff testified that she could not separate the emotional distress resulting from her rejection by a potential employer, Hydaker-Wheatlake, and the distress caused by the alleged conduct of Local 17. (Wrobbel Dep. 336:13-22, Feb. 8, 2010.) Although this testimony was proffered in a different action, the factual circumstances are too similar for the Court to hold that, here, Plaintiff's injuries are separable as a matter of law.

Finally, Plaintiff expresses concern that Michigan Civil Jury Instruction 42.05, which the Court proposes to use when instructing the jury on allocating fault between parties and identified nonparties, is not appropriate. This may, or may not be, correct. Either way, the Court reminds the parties that, if this case goes to trial, they will be responsible for researching how to proceed under Michigan tort law. (Order 9-10.) The Court encourages the parties to cooperate on this matter; perhaps the court in Wrobbel v. Hydaker-Wheatlake can provide some guidance. Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED. IT IS ORDERED.

20100329

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