First Circuit Notes Split Re Defining "Relatedness" between ERISA Claims and Wrongful Termination Claims for Compulsory Joinder Purposes

Per Negron-Fuentes v. UPS Supply Chain Solutions, 532 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. Jun 18, 2008):

However, applying claim preclusion to bar the two ERISA claims (one only arguably so but we will return to this later) is contested by Negron and here we think the district court erred. This is so even assuming dubitante--because Negron does not dispute the assumption--that the ERISA claims are sufficiently factually connected to the ADA claim from Negron I to satisfy the "relatedness" predicate for compulsory joinder ( i.e., that all arose from the same "transaction, or series of connected transactions," Restatement (Second) of Judgments, supra, ยง 24).FN6

FN6. The circuits have divided in applying this fact-intensive test to similar cases. Compare King v. Union Oil Co. of Cal., 117 F.3d 443, 447 (10th Cir.1997) (benefits claim and wrongful termination claim sufficiently related), with Herrmann v. Cencom Cable Assocs., Inc., 999 F.2d 223, 227 (7th Cir.1993) (insufficient overlap between such claims to justify preclusion).


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