Advocates for Labor and Progressive Institutions

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Ninth Circuit Affirms $1.57 Million Verdict In Favor of SEIU and SEIU-UHW

March 2013

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed in its entirety a jury verdict in favor of SEIU and one of its largest local unions, SEIU – United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), against the former leaders of SEIU-UHW and a rival union created by those former leaders. 

After a two-week trial, a federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California found that the former leaders of SEIU-UHW had breached their fiduciary duties to the local by engaging in a pattern of misconduct to divert the funds and resources of the local for their own purposes, including creating a rival union to raid the membership of SEIU-UHW.  In a strongly-worded opinion, the Ninth Circuit found there was ample evidence to support the jury’s findings and affirmed in its entirety the jury’s $1.57 million damage award.  The Ninth Circuit also affirmed the district court’s grant of a permanent injunction, which was based on a finding that the defendants had improperly taken SEIU-UHW property.

Bredhoff & Kaiser attorneys represented the membership of SEIU and SEIU-UHW in the trial court, and briefed and argued the appeal in the Ninth Circuit.