Kevin Duddlesten Leads 5th Circuit Win in Layoffs Class Action

August 7, 2017

Dallas senior counsel Kevin Duddlesten helped deliver a major 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals victory for client Latshaw Drilling Co. in a putative class action brought by a former employee who claimed the company failed to provide required notices of pending layoffs.

A unanimous three-judge panel affirmed a district court’s summary judgment in favor of the company because the named plaintiff, Johnny Meadows, did not establish a factual dispute over the “single site” requirement of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

Among other requirements, WARN compels each employer to tell affected employees and certain state officials if it plans to lay off more than 50 workers at a single company site. Latshaw provides crews to work on oil rigs, but no crew exceeds 28 workers, Latshaw noted, so no site exceeded 50 workers. The appellate panel agreed, thanks in large part to McGuireWoods’ exceptional briefing and oral argument.

“We are very pleased with the court’s decision,” Duddlesten, lead defense counsel, told Law360 for a story published Aug. 2. “It validates Latshaw Drilling’s position on an issue of great significance to the drilling industry in general.”

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