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LOCAL 738, INTL. BHD. OF TEAMSTERS v. CERTIFIED GR

May 24, 1990

IN RE ARBITRATION BETWEEN LOCAL 738, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, Respondent, and CERTIFIED GROCERS MIDWEST, INC., Petitioner

James F. Holderman, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: HOLDERMAN

JAMES F. HOLDERMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

 Petitioner Certified Grocers Midwest Inc. ("Certified") has filed a petition to compel enforcement of two subpoenas duces tecum issued during the course of a grievance arbitration. The subpoenas seek the disclosure of certain patient records maintained at St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Illinois. More precisely, the subpoenas seek the disclosure of information regarding the drug abuse of one of Certified's former employees and the course of treatment provided by St. Joseph's to this employee. Jurisdiction is proper under either § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C. § 185 or the United States Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1, et seq., See Local 757, International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. Borden, Inc., 78 L.R.R.M. 2398 (S.D.N.Y. 1971).

 BACKGROUND FACTS *fn1"

 Certified is a wholesale grocery cooperative that warehouses and distributes groceries and related products to grocery stores and supermarkets throughout the Midwest. John Doe worked as a truck loader at Certified's distribution center in Hodgkins, Illinois. *fn2"

 Between May and July of 1988 Mr. Doe's supervisors began to notice changes in his behavior. The parties agree that "his normally passive personality became aggressive." (Certified's Mem. in Support, p. 4.) In May he was disciplined and received a four day suspension for urinating outside a trailer at Certified's loading dock. His supervisors began to suspect that Mr. Doe was involved in the use of unlawful drugs.

 Mr. Doe was absent from work on August 1 and August 2, 1988. Each day he called in to report that he was sick. On August 4th or 5th Mr. Doe again called in, this time to relay the information that he was in the hospital.

 On Monday, August 8, 1988, Certified received a call from Teresa A. Deneau, a substance abuse counselor at St. Joseph's Hospital. Ms. Deneau informed one of Certified's managers that Mr. Doe had been admitted to the substance abuse program at the hospital. Ms. Deneau stated that Mr. Doe was being treated for addiction to cocaine and for marijuana abuse. Ms. Deneau suggested that one of Certified's managers, Mark Swift, participate in Mr. Doe's rehabilitation by attending a counseling session with the patient. (Certified's Mem. in Support, p. 4.)

 On August 15, 1988 Mr. Swift went to the hospital and met with Mr. Doe and Ms. Deneau. During the meeting Ms. Deneau showed Mr. Swift a consent form that John Doe had signed. The consent form, attached as an exhibit to Certified's Petition, purported to authorize St. Joseph's release to Certified of all information and records in Mr. Doe's file. (See Exhibit B to Petition.) At this meeting Mr. Swift informed Mr. Doe that if he started using cocaine again, he could be terminated.

 The consent form, although signed by Mr. Doe, was not dated and no expiration date was designated in the space provided therefor. The form also stated:

 
* * * *
 
Under Federal Act of July 1, 1975, Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records, no such records nor information from such records may be further disclosed without specific authorization from such re-disclosure. A general authorization for the release ...

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