Federal District Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Unions for Petitioning Activity Protected by the First Amendment

On July 6, 2023, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of California granted a motion to dismiss federal antitrust and labor law claims brought by a hotel developer against UNITE HERE! Local 30, the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council, and those unions’ leaders.  The hotel developer alleged that the unions and union officials had engaged in unlawful conduct designed to coerce the hotel developer to agree to a card check neutrality agreement and project labor agreement, including by opposing and threatening to file environmental challenges to the proposed hotel redevelopment plan.  The court dismissed the hotel developer’s claims with prejudice on the grounds that the supposedly unlawful activity was all petitioning activity protected by the First Amendment under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine.  The court had previously dismissed the hotel developer’s RICO and state law claims. Altshuler Berzon represented defendants San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council and Tom Lemmon.  The Coopersmith Law Firm also represented Mr. Lemmon, and the other defendants were represented by McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry LLP. The order can be found here.