non-jury litigation with conciliation mechanisms and only limited equitable non-punitive relief.
Id. 796 F. Supp. at 312.
Moreover, in Stout v. International Business Machines Corp., 798 F. Supp. at 1006-07, the court concluded that the 1991 Act's authorization of compensatory and punitive damages in Title VII actions, as well as jury trials, represents something more than merely procedural changes. This conclusion was based in part on the majority opinion in United States v. Burke, 119 L. Ed. 2d 34, 112 S. Ct. 1867, 1874 (1992), wherein the Supreme Court stated that "Congress decision to permit jury trials and compensatory and punitive damages under the amended [1991 Civil Rights Act] signals a marked change in its conception of the injury redressable by Title VII, and cannot be imported back into analysis of the statute as it existed at the time of this lawsuit." Id.13
The Stout court agreed, stating that:
the broad changes in the nature of the damages produced something more than simply a redoubled effort to deter unlawful discrimination and harassment. Significantly altering the degree and nature of the liabilities defendants are exposed to implicitly recognizes that the injuries resulting from intentional discrimination are more profound, more penetrating than originally recognized, and thus require broader remedies.
By making compensable such things as pain and suffering and injuries to a person's mental health, Congress had done more than merely increase an offender's potential liability by raising the roof on monetary recovery. True it seeks to deter discriminatory conduct through greater sanctions, but in so doing, it has also shifted how it views the injuries caused by such conduct.
Stout v. International Business Machines Corp., 798 F. Supp. at 1007. Thus, the Stout court held that application of the 1991 Act would impact upon a defendant's substantive rights and liabilities, and it declined to apply these provisions retroactively. See also Vogel v. Cincinnati, 959 F.2d at 598 ("Clearly, retroactive application of the 1991 Act would affect 'substantive rights and liabilities' of the parties to this action").
The Court agrees with the view expressed in Stout, Fritsch, and Luddington, and concludes that the Act's provisions for compensatory and punitive damages, as well as the right to a jury trial, shall not be applied retroactively to the claims at issue in this action. Accordingly, the Hospital's motion to strike Davila's demand for a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages under Title VII is granted.
As a final observation, the Court notes that the above determinations as to the retroactivity of the 1991 Act are bolstered by the Court's belief that the Bowen line of cases on retroactivity is the better one to follow. Prospective application of statutes best conforms to the traditional view outlined by Justice Scalia in Kaiser that statutes are to be applied prospectively absent specific direction to the contrary. See Stout v. International Business Machines Corp., 798 F. Supp. at 1007; Smith v. Petra Cablevision Corp., 793 F. Supp. at 431.
Having granted the Hospital's motion to dismiss Davila's Section 1981 claim, as well as its motion to strike Davila's demand for a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages under Title VII, the Court turns to New York Hospital's motion to strike Davila's demand for a jury trial under the New York HRL.
II. Availability of a Jury Trial Under the New York Human Rights Law
New York Hospital also moves to strike Davila's demand for a jury trial under the New York HRL on the grounds that New York state law provides that a party waives his right to a jury trial when he requests both legal and equitable relief. See Amended Complaint, at 8-9.
Davila opposes the motion.
Before determining whether New York law necessitates striking Davila's demand for a jury trial, the Court must first decide whether New York law applies. It is well established that federal courts must apply state substantive law to pendent state claims. See Colgate Palmolive Co. v. S/S Dart Canada, 724 F.2d 313, 316 (2d Cir. 1983), cert. denied sub nom. Global Terminal & Container Services, Inc. v. Colgate Palmolive Co., 466 U.S. 963, 80 L. Ed. 2d 562, 104 S. Ct. 2181 (1984) (citing Erie R.R. Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64, 82 L. Ed. 1188, 58 S. Ct. 817 (1938)). Federal procedural rules apply, however, where they cover the point in dispute and no conflicting state rule "would substantially affect primary decisions respecting human conduct." Simpson v. Pittsburgh Corning Corp., 901 F.2d 277, 283 (2d Cir.), cert. dismissed, 497 U.S. 1057, 111 L. Ed. 2d 840, 111 S. Ct. 27 (1990) (quoting Hanna v. Plumer, 380 U.S. 460, 475, 14 L. Ed. 2d 8, 85 S. Ct. 1136 (1965)). As one district court noted, "a rule governing the right to a jury determination of factual issues in cases joining equitable and legal claims is clearly intended only to regulate the internal mechanics of a litigation and will not affect primary decisions respecting human conduct." Resnick v. Resnick, 763 F. Supp. 760, 766 (S.D.N.Y. 1991) (citing Rand v. Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, 295 F.2d 342, 346 (2d Cir. 1961), cert. denied, 368 U.S. 988, 7 L. Ed. 2d 525, 82 S. Ct. 603 (1962)). The Court agrees with that assessment and, therefore, finds it appropriate to apply federal rules regarding the right to a jury trial to the pendent state claims in this case.
Although New York state courts have held that a party waives his right to a jury trial when he joins equitable and legal causes of action, see Resnick v. Resnick, 763 F. Supp. at 766 (citing Zimmer-Masiello, Inc. v. Zimmer, Inc., 164 A.D.2d 845, 559 N.Y.S.2d 888, 889 (1990); Kaplan v. Long Island University, 116 A.D.2d 508, 497 N.Y.S.2d 378, 379 (1986)), when a federal court is presented with a case involving both legal and equitable claims for relief that have common issues of fact, and a jury trial has been properly demanded with respect to the legal claims, the party making the demand has a right to have the legal claims tried to a jury. Resnick v. Resnick, 763 F. Supp. at 766 (citations omitted). In order to ensure that this right is preserved, the legal claims are normally tried to the jury before the court hears the equitable claims. Id. at 767 (citations omitted).
Accordingly, Davila is entitled to a jury trial on those state claims seeking legal relief, and the Hospital's motion to strike Davila's demand for a jury trial under the New York HRL is denied.
For the reasons set forth above, the Hospital's motion to strike Davila's demand for a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages under Title VII is granted. The Hospital's motion to dismiss Davila's Section 1981 claim for failure to state a claim is granted. The Hospital's motion to strike Davila's demand for punitive damages under the New York HRL is granted. The Hospital's motion to strike Davila's demand for a jury trial under the New York HRL is denied.
SHIRLEY WOHL KRAM
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: New York, New York
January 4, 1993