CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--An Illinois state court judge has ruled that a former Canadian National Railway Company (CN) executive may continue to pursue legal action to set aside a sweeping non-compete agreement being unfairly enforced against him.
Tracy Miller was the highest-ranking African-American employee at CN before he resigned because of CN’s refusal to promote him based on his race. Nashville-based Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings (BS&J) filed a three-count civil rights suit on March 6, 2019, in federal district court in Memphis on Miller’s behalf. Miller also filed a one-count complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, seeking a declaration concerning the enforceability of restrictive covenants imposed by the defendants.
The defendants filed a five-count countersuit in April, along with a motion to dismiss or stay the Illinois action. The defendants’ motion to dismiss or stay was denied last month by the Illinois state court.
“The Illinois ruling in Mr. Miller’s favor illustrates that CN’s attempt to countersue him in Tennessee is merely an act of spite directed against an employee who demonstrated loyalty and excellence for more than two decades,” said Joe P. Leniski Jr., attorney with BS&J. “CN’s claims are completely unrelated to Miller’s employment discrimination and retaliation claims under federal civil rights laws, and were brought merely to punish him further for vindicating his rights.”
Through his motion to dismiss CN’s countersuit and his successive memorandum of law, Miller seeks dismissal on the grounds that CN and its subsidiaries lack subject matter jurisdiction, and that they have failed to state claims for breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.
Miller’s original discrimination complaint has been amended to include an additional claim of retaliation. The amended complaint can be viewed here.
About Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC (www.bsjfirm.com)
For more than 65 years, Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC has been known for the quality of its advocacy and the integrity of its attorneys. The firm enjoys a national reputation of prominence in the complex litigation arena for its work in class actions, shareholder derivative claims, securities, ERISA, labor and employment, and other complex cases, both at the trial and appellate levels.
Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC is dedicated to providing a full range of legal services to its diverse clientele. In addition to providing quality legal services, the firm is proud of the professional and civic leadership its members have provided, both locally and nationally. The firm’s former managing partner, Jane Branstetter Stranch, was nominated by President Obama to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and now serves as a judge on that court following her confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, and was named among "Best Law Firms" by U.S. News & World Report for 2019, receiving the highest possible Nashville ranking as a Tier 1 in two practice areas.