Union Must Pay Millions in Defamation Case

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A Placer County jury Friday ordered one of the country’s largest labor unions to pay $17.3 million for defaming a group of Northern California doctors and hospitals.

The jury found that the New York-based Unite Here union had acted with “fraud, malice or oppression” when it sent out a mass mailing last year claiming that Sutter Health used inadequately cleaned bed linens in its hospitals. The linens were cleaned by a commercial laundry service that was embroiled in a labor dispute with the union.