By: Daily Record Staff//September 2, 2013
By: Daily Record Staff//September 2, 2013//
U.S. District Court, WDNY
Relation Back Doctrine
Mistaken Identity — Proper Defendant
Talton v. Amalgamated Transit Union
Background: The plaintiff, a member of the defendant union, brought an action against the organization alleging discriminatory failure to represent him. The defendant moved to dismiss the complaint against it because it was not the proper party. The plaintiff filed an amended complaint with the caption listing the local union as the defendant. The claims against the local union were untimely, but the judge provisionally permitted the complaint for the purpose of discovery in order to ascertain whether the plaintiff’s claims against the local union might be rendered timely under the “relation back” doctrine.
Ruling: The District Court denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss. The court found that the initiation of the action against the international union a mistake of identity for the purposes of the relation back doctrine. Specifically, the representative of the international union should have known of the error because of an administrative complaint filed by the plaintiff against the local union.
Christina A. Agola and Ryan Charles Woodworth for the plaintiff; Matthew J. Fusco and Robert G. McCarthy of Chamberlain D’Amanda Oppenheimer & Greenfield for the defendant