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Injured worker cannot sue Dow because his employer's application for employment required him to arbitrate employment claims o

Tomas Lyddy was injured while working as a pipefitter under a subcontract with Gulf States, Inc., in a Dow Chemical plant.  After Lyddy's injury, Dow insisted that Lyddy be fired for "committing an unsafe act" and his employer terminated his employment.  He sued both companies, alleging that Dow was guilty of "intentional interference with a business relationship."  Judges Kirsten Kelly, Hoekstra, and Whitbeck completed a clean sweep of their cases by ruling against the injured worker and dismissing his claim. The Court of Appeals held that Dow was a third-party beneficiary of Lyddy's Application for Employment and could enforce his promise to arbitrate claims "arising out of his employment" because the promise included the mandatory arbitration of claims against "any entity for whom or with whom GSI had done or might be doing work."  The Court refused to consider the fact that Dow was not bound in any way to Lyddy and had not given any consideration to Lyddy for his promise.  The Court also enforced the broad contract language of arbitration [which---in a stroke---wiped out Lyddy's constitutional and civil rights] despite the fact that the "class of intended third-party beneficiaries" was not well defined or delineated, even though existing law mandates this analysis of alleged "third-party" beneficiary status.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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