Blumenthal will file brief in layoffs case

By John O'Brien | Nov 10, 2009


BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - A federal judge is allowing Connecticut Attorney General to file an amicus brief in a lawsuit brought against a company that is moving 1,000 jobs out of the state.

U.S. District Judge Janet Hall wrote that federal courts have broad discretion as to whether to allow amicus briefs, and that Blumenthal exhibited that the State has a significant interest in the case. She said she will not allow the State to participate in evidentiary hearings, however.

District Lodge 26 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers alleged aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney's plans to move jobs to Georgia, Japan and Singapore violate a labor agreement.

"This federal court decision promises a fairer fight -- and recognizes Connecticut's serious stake in protecting jobs and workers and our local economy," Blumenthal said.

"Pratt's defense is deficient and should be defeated. Disregarding $100 million in state incentives and other readily available alternatives, Pratt pushed ahead with layoffs. I am committed to fighting these job cuts and hold Pratt accountable to its promise to exercise all reasonable efforts to maintain these jobs in Connecticut."

Pratt & Whitney had argued that if Blumenthal were allowed to participate, he should only be allowed to file a brief.

"The State fails to provide any legal support to allow its participation in any way other than to file an amicus brief," attorneys for the company wrote.

"To the extent the Attorney General views 'participation' as more than an opportunity to file a legal brief, this Court should deny the request as inconsistent with the concept of amicus curiae.

"Giving the Attorney General a more expansive role in what is a contractual dispute between two private parties would also break with prior precedent in Connecticut, give the State an unclear 'quasi-party' status, interfere with the rights of the parties to have a timely, fair and equitable resolution of their dispute, and may serve as a platform for more partisan pronouncements by the Attorney General."

Blumenthal must file his brief by Dec. 7.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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