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Goodwin v. Teamsters General Local Union No. 200

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

March 6, 2018

KELVIN GOODWIN, Plaintiff,
v.
TEAMSTERS GENERAL LOCAL UNION NO 200, et al., Defendants. KELVIN GOODWIN, Plaintiff,
v.
U.S. FOODS, INC., et al., Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          WILLIAM E. DUFFIN U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Kelvin Goodwin, proceeding pro se, filed two complaints on October 11, 2017, relating to the termination of his employment by U.S. Foods, Inc. The first action, 17-CV-1377, named Teamsters General Local Union 200 (“the Union”) as the defendant. The second, 17-CV-1378, named U.S. Foods as the defendant.

         On December 8, 2017, Goodwin filed identical amended complaints in both actions. Each amended complaint named both the Union and U.S. Foods as defendants. Both amended complaints also added Richard Meldman, Nicole Griesbach, Thomas Perszyk, and Aaron Kraemer (all employees of U.S. Foods) and Jeff Bandur (a Union official) as defendants.

         Three days later, Goodwin again amended his complaints. The second amended complaint in 17-CV-1377 named only the Union in the caption as a defendant. But in the body of that second amended complaint, under the heading “Parties, ” Goodwin named as defendants the same individuals and entities named in his first amended complaints.

         As for the second amended complaint in 17-CV-1378, Goodwin named U.S. Foods, Meldman, Griesbach, Perszyk, and Kraemer as defendants. He also named Bandur of the Union as a defendant, although he omitted the Union itself as a defendant.

         The court consolidated the actions for all pretrial proceedings. (ECF No. 17.)[1]However, these remain two distinct actions.

         As the court understands Goodwin's allegations, his claim against the Union and Bandur (collectively, “the Union defendants”) rests upon his belief that the Union representative, Bandur, did not properly represent him with respect to U.S. Foods' termination of his employment. This claim is distinct from the claims he asserts against U.S. Foods and its employees (collectively, the “the U.S. Foods defendants”). As a result, joinder of these claims in one lawsuit is not proper under Rule 20(a)(2). Accordingly, to the extent that Goodwin actually intended to pursue claims against both the Union defendants and the U.S. Foods defendants in a single action, in accord with Rule 21 the court drops the U.S. Foods defendants from the second amended complaint in 17-CV-1377 and drops the Union defendants from the second amended complaint in 17-CV-1378. Bandur is a defendant only in case number 17-CV-1377.

         On January 15, 2018, the U.S. Foods defendants filed a motion to dismiss the second amended complaint as to each of them. (ECF No. 19.)

         FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         According to details contained in his second amended complaint and documents appended to that complaint, [2] Goodwin began working for U.S. Foods as a delivery driver in May 2014. (ECF No. 15 at 5.) In November 2014 U.S. Foods received a complaint from one of its hotel customers that alleged that one of its delivery drivers made several of the female employees of the hotel uncomfortable by “staring and leering at them, making suggestive and inappropriate comments (such as asking their ages and telling them they're pretty), and making animal noises.” (ECF No. 15-1 at 1.) U.S. Foods concluded that Goodwin was the driver and advised him as to proper professional behavior. (ECF No. 15-1 at 16.) Goodwin denied engaging in the complained-of conduct.

         In July 2015 a female customer complained about a U.S. Foods delivery driver talking to her in a suggestive tone of voice, inquiring if she was married, and asking how her husband treated her. (ECF No. 15-1 at 14.) Greisbach, U.S. Foods' human resources manager, and Persyk, U.S. Foods' transportation manager, identified Goodwin as the driver and met with him to get his side of the story. Griesbach found it very difficult for Goodwin to provide his story and concluded that his answers were evasive. (ECF No. 15-1 at 16.)

         Although Goodwin provided the court with an email indicating that he was terminated from his employment with U.S. Foods in July 2015, other allegations in his second amended complaint indicate that he apparently resumed working for U.S. Foods. (ECF No. 15-1 at 16; see also ECF No. 15, ¶ 1 (“Plaintiff was fired on July 8, 2015 and again in October 2015 ….”)). In August 2015 U.S. Foods received a complaint from a customer about certain errors. The customer complained to the driver, Goodwin, who in response referred to two of the customer's female managers as “bitches” and said they did not understand it was not his fault. (ECF No. 15-1 at 4.)

         U.S. Foods terminated Goodwin's employment in October 2015. He asserts that the allegations of his misconduct were false and that the documents offered in support were fabricated. Goodwin alleges that various employees of U.S. Foods engaged in “blatant moral depravity, criminal conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud, perjury, slander, and intent to deprive Kelvin Goodwin of his Civil Rights” as well as “gross stupidity” and “intentional unmerciful criminal acts of destroying a black man's opportunity to make a ...


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