DETROIT (AP) – A federal appeals court has reinstated a portion of a lawsuit that accuses a union of sabotaging the voicemail and email of Michigan-based Pulte Homes.

A judge dismissed the case two years ago, saying he had no authority to get involved in a labor dispute. But a three-judge panel disagreed Tuesday and gave new life to Pulte’s lawsuit against the Laborers’ International Union of North America.

The union acknowledges that it bombarded Pulte with thousands of phone calls and emails after a construction leader was fired in Tucson in 2009. The union encouraged people, hired an automatic dialing service and says it was all legal.

Pulte alleges the union violated a federal law that prohibits computer abuse. The appeals court says the Bloomfield Hills company can pursue that claim.

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