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Currie v. Indus. Sec., Inc., AROcv-03-055 (Aroostook Super. Ct., 2005)

Currie v. Indus. Sec., Inc., AROcv-03-055 (Aroostook Super. Ct., 2005)

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Published by Chris Buck

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Published by: Chris Buck on May 30, 2010
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11/14/2013

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S U P E R IO R C O U R T
A R O O S T O O K , ss
S T A T E O F M A IN E
D O C K E T N O . C V -0 370 5 5
H E R S C H E L C U R R IE
P la in tiff
V S.
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O R D E R O N M O T IO N
F O R S U M M A R Y JU D G M E N T
IN D U S T R IA L S E C U R IT Y , IN C . a n d
IR V IN G F O R E S T P R O D U C T S , IN C .
D e fe n d a n ts
M AY 3
2 005
P e n d in g b e fo re th e c o u rt is th e D e fe n d a n ts ' M o tio n fo r S u m m a ry Ju d g m e n t. 1
T h e P la in tiff h a s b ro u g h t s u it a g a in s t th e D e fe n d a n ts c la im in g th a t th e y te rm in a te d h is
e m p lo y m e n t in v io la tio n o f M a in e 's W h is tle B lo w e r P ro te c tio n A C T (2 6 M .R .S .A . \u00a7
8 3 1 , e t s e q .)(C o u n ts I a n d II). T h e P la in tiff a ls o c la im s th a t th e D e fe n d a n t Irv in g F o re s t
P ro d u c ts , In c . is lia b le to h im fo r to rtio u s ly in te rfe rin g w ith a c o n tra c tu a l a d v a n ta g e .
(C o u n t III). F o r th e re a s o n s s e t fo rth h e re in , th e c o u rt g ra n ts th e D e fe n d a n ts ' m o tio n in its
e n tire ty .
FACTUAL BACKGROUND
T h e m a te ria l fa c ts o f th is m a tte r m a y b e s u m m a riz e d a s fo llo w s . D e fe n d a n t

Irv in g F o re s t P ro d u c ts , In c . (Irv in g ) o w n s a n d o p e ra te s a lu m b e r m ill in P o rta g e , M a in e . S ta rtin g in M a rc h o f 1 9 9 9 , th e P la in tiff w o rk e d a t th e m ill a s a s e c u rity g u a rd s u p e rv is o r. H e b e g a n th is e m p lo y m e n t a s a n e m p lo y e e fo r H a ll S e c u rity (H a ll), a c o m p a n y th a t h a d c o n tra c te d w ith Irv in g to p ro v id e s e c u rity a t th e m ill In M a y o f 2 0 0 0 , Irv in g e n d e d its

T h e P la in tiff h a s m a in ta in e d th a t th e tw o D e fe n d a n ts n a m e d in th is c a s e c o n s titu te o n e " in te g ra te d

e n te rp ris e " o r a " s in g le e m p lo y e r" in th is c a s e . (S e e , e .g . L y e s v . C ity o f R iv ie ra B e a c h F lo rid a , 1 6 6 F .3 d 1 3 3 2 ,1 3 4 1 (1 1thC ir. 1 9 9 9 ) In p ro s e c u tin g th is m o tio n , th e D e fe n d a n ts d o n o t s e e m to ta k e is s u e w ith th is c o n te n tio n .

re la tio n s h ip w ith H a ll a n d c o n tra c te d w ith th e D e fe n d a n t In d u s tria l S e c u rity , In c
(In du strial) to p ro v ide secu rity at th e m ill
2 A t approxim ately the sam e tim e, Industrial
h ire d th e P la in tiff to d o th e s a m e jo b fo r it th a t h e h a d b e e n p re v io u s ly d o in g fo r H a ll.
T he P laintiff's im m ediate supervisor w as S teve V arga (V arga). V arga's supervisor w as
D ave Johnson (Johnson). V arga and Johnson w ere responsible for all Industrial decisions
re g a rd in g h irin g a n d firin g . (C u rrie D e p . p a g e 3 7 , lin e 1 0 to 1 6 ).
A t a ll re le v a n t tim e s , th e P la in tiff w a s th e s e c u rity s u p e rv is o r a n d h a d a v a rie ty o f
d u tie s a n d re s p o n s ib ilitie s a s s o c ia te d w ith h is jo b . T h o s e d u tie s in c lu d e d m o n ito rin g
p e o p le w h o c a m e a n d w e n t o r w e re o th e rw is e p re s e n t in th e m ill y a rd . T h e P la in tiff h a d
n o p a rtic u la r e x p e rtis e re g a rd in g im m ig ra tio n la w a n d h e w a s n o t re s p o n s ib le fo r
m o n ito rin g th e im m ig ra tio n s ta tu s o f p e o p le c o m in g o n to Irv in g 's m ill p ro p e rty .

In J a n u a ry o f 2 0 0 0 , w h ile h e w a s s till a n e m p lo y e e fo r H a ll, it c a m e to th e
P la in tiff's a tte n tio n th a t tw o o f In d u s tria l's C a n a d ia n e m p lo y e e s h a d c o m e to th e m ill
p ro p e rty in P o rta g e to d o c o m p lia n c e a u d its a n d e q u ip m e n t c h e c k s o n lo g g in g tru c k s .

3

D u rin g th e c o u rs e o f in te ra c tin g w ith th e s e tw o C a n a d ia n m e n a t th a t tim e , th e P la in tiff a s k e d th e m if th e y h a d le g a l p e rm is s io n to b e w o rk in g in th e U n ite d S ta te s . B a s e d o n w h a t h e re g a rd e d to b e e q u iv o c a l re s p o n s e s , th e P la in tiff s u s p e c te d th a t th e tw o m e n d id not have the required w ork visas.4H e to ld th e m e n th a t th e y w o u ld p ro b a b ly g e t in to

tro u b le if th e y w o rk e d w ith o u t th e re q u ire d v is a s . T h e P la in tiff a ls o s ta te d th a t h e d id n o t
2
In d u s tria l h a s its p rin c ip a l p la c e o f b u s in e s s in C a n a d a .
3In a n d o f its e lf, th e p re s e n c e o f C a n a d ia n w o rk e rs o n s ite w a s n o t p a rtic u la rly re m a rk a b le a s C a n a d ia n

tim b e r h a rv e s te rs w e re in a n d o u t o f th e m ill y a rd a ll th e tim e . A t th is p a rtic u la r tim e h o w e v e r, it a p p e a rs th a t a la b o r d is p u te in v o lv in g a w o rk s to p p a g e w a s in p ro g re s s a t th e m ill a n d th a t Irv in g m a y h a v e h a d a h e ig h te n e d c o n c e rn re g a rd in g p ro te c tio n o f its p ro p e rty d u rin g th is p e rio d o f la b o r u n re s t.

4
A lth o u g h th e P la in tiff is n o t a n im m ig ra tio n la w e x p e rt, it
appears that from w orking in and around the
tim b e r h a rv e s tin g in d u s try , h e h a d a c q u ire d a b a s ic u n d e rs ta n d in g , c o m m o n to m a n y p e o p le liv in g in
n o rth e rn M a in e , th a t C a n a d ia n w o rk e rs re q u ire d a w o rk v is a b e fo re e n g a g in g in a n y w o rk in th e U n ite d
S ta te s .
2
w a n t to b e c o m e in v o lv e d in a n y th in g th a t m ig h t b e ille g a l a n d h e d e c lin e d to w o rk w ith
th e m . T h e tw o m e n th e n le ft th e m ill.
T h e n e x t d a y , a n d w ith o u t firs t s p e a k in g to h is s u p e rv is o r, th e P la in tiff c a lle d
U .S .C u s to m s to lo o k in to th e m a tte r o n h is o w n . H e g a v e a c u s to m s o ffic e r th e n a m e s o f
th e tw o C a n a d ia n s a n d a s k e d if th e y w e re a u th o riz e d to e n g a g e in w o rk in th e U n ite d

S ta te s . T h e c u s to m s o ffic e r re p o rte d th a t h e d id n 't k n o w a n d th a t h e w o u ld lo o k in to it. S e v e ra l d a y s la te r, U .S . B o rd e r P a tro l a g e n t J o h n M e rric k c a lle d to le t h im k n o w th a t a lth o u g h th e tw o m e n h a d n o t b e e n a p p re h e n d e d , to h is k n o w le d g e th e y h a d n o rig h t to w o rk in th e U n ite d S ta te s a n d th a t h e w o u ld lo o k in to it. A g e n t M e rric k n e v e r re p o rte d b a c k to th e P la in tiff o n w h a t if a n y th in g h e h a d fo u n d o u t. In fa c t, n o o n e e v e r g a v e th e P la in tiff a n y d e fin itiv e c o n firm a tio n re g a rd in g w h e th e r th e tw o C a n a d ia n s w e re

a u th o riz e d to w o rk in th e U n ite d S ta te s o r n o t. T h e P la in tiff n e v e r h e a rd a n o th e r w o rd
a b o u t th is m a tte r. In d u s tria l s u b s e q u e n tly h ire d th e P la in tiff w h e n it to o k o v e r th e
c o n tra c t to p ro v id e s e c u rity s e rv ic e s a t th e m ill.
A p p ro x im a te ly o n e y e a r la te r, in F e b ru a ry o f 2 0 0 1 , th e m ill s h u t d o w n its
o p e ra tio n s . In d u s tria l w a s s till p ro v id in g s e c u rity d u rin g th is tim e a n d a n Irv in g

e m p lo y e e , S ta n S a u c ie r (S a u c ie r), c a lle d th e P la in tiff a t h o m e o n th e w e e k e n d to re p o rt th a t tw o C a n a d ia n s w e re in th e m ill y a rd . S a u c ie r d id n 't in d ic a te w h a t if a n y th in g th e tw o C a n a d ia n s w e re d o in g , ju s t th a t th e y w e re p re s e n t. T h e P la in tiff w a s c o n s c io u s o f w h a t h e b e lie v e d to b e a h ig h le v e l o f u n e m p lo y m e n t in A ro o s to o k C o u n ty a n d th o u g h t th a t it w o u ld b e u n lik e ly th a t im m ig ra tio n a u th o ritie s w o u ld h a v e is s u e d w o rk v is a s fo r

3

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