Case Summaries: Around the Nation

November

Court Issues Sanctions for Failure to Preserve Evidence and Failure to Prepare 30(b)(6) Deponent

Naaco Materials Handling Group, Inc. v. Lilly Co., No. 11-2415 AV, 2011 WL 5986649 (W.D. Tenn. Nov. 16, 2011).

In this case, the court found that defendant "failed to take reasonable steps to preserve, search for, and collect potentially relevant information . . . after its duty to preserve evidence was triggered by being served with the complaint" which may have resulted in the destruction of relevant evidence. Further, defendant failed to present an adequately prepared and knowledgeable 30(b)(6) deponent. Accordingly, sanctions were imposed, including, among other things, additional discovery, additional forensic imaging at defendant's expense, and monetary sanctions.

The decision is available online at: http://www.ediscoverylaw.com/2011/12/articles/casesummaries/sanctions-or....

– submitted by Joel Bennett

November

Decision on Sex Stereotyping Under Sec. 1983

Glenn v. Brumby, No. 10-14833, 10-15015 (11 th Cir. Dec. 6, 2011).

In a significant opinion, the Eleventh Circuit upholds a plaintiff's Section 1983 claims based upon the Equal Protection Clause against a state government official for firing her based on sexual stereotypes related to gender identity disorder and gender transition.

The published opinion is by Judge Barkett and was joined by Judges Pryor and Kravitch. The attached opinion certainly is significant for transgender issues, but also because of its broad language on sex stereotyping:

The question here is whether discriminating against someone on the basis of his or her gender nonconformity constitutes sex-based discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause. For the reasons discussed below, we hold that it does. (p.7) All persons, whether transgender or not, are protected from discrimination on the basis of gender stereotype. (p.12).

– submitted by John R. Ates

November

Third Circuit Upholds Disparate Impact Finding

NAACP v. North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue, Nos. 10-3965, 10-15015 (3 rd Cir. Dec. 12, 2011).

I am pleased to report that the Third Circuit issued a ruling on December 12, 2011 in our case, NAACP v. N. Hudson, affirming the grant of summary judgment in our favor by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, finding that the residency requirement for firefighter applicants were invalid because the requirement had a disparate impact on African Americans. The court found that both parties' expert reports supported a finding of disparate impact. The court also ruled that Ricci v. Destefano did not provide North Hudson a defense to disparate impact liability.

– submitted by Yuval Rubinstein

November