In late September, the Northern District of Indiana issued an opinion and order denying defendants' motion to dismiss. The court considered whether a private equity firm (Monomoy) could be held liable under the WARN Act for layoffs at plastics manufacturing facility operated by a limited liability company (Fortis). The court found that:
This is a close case, but when each factor is balanced according to its relative weight, Mr. Young’s allegations regarding the status of Fortis and Monomoy as the “single employer” of Mr. Young and the other class members are sufficient to survive Monomoy’s Motion to Dismiss. On the issue of highest importance—the decision to close the Fort Smith Facility—Mr. Young made a number of clear factual allegations regarding Monomoy’s involvement and exercise of control over Fortis. As was noted in Pearson, if sufficiently egregious, de facto exercise of control can be sufficient to warrant liability on its own. Pearson, 247 F.3d at 496.
The case is Young v. Fortis Plastics, L.L.C., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137075 (N.D. Ind. Sept. 24, 2013). The court's opinion can be found here.