Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

BROWN v. BRONX CROSS CTY. MED. GROUP

October 14, 1993

SANDRA M. BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
BRONX CROSS COUNTY MEDICAL GROUP, LAURA GAZLAY, Defendant.


EDELSTEIN


The opinion of the court was delivered by: DAVID N. EDELSTEIN

EDELSTEIN, District Judge:

 Plaintiff Sandra M. Brown brings this action against defendants Bronx Cross County Medical Group and Laura Gazlay for discriminatory employment practices that she alleges ultimately led to termination of her employment. Plaintiff asserts that defendants' employment practices violated 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983, and 2000e, as well as New York state law.

 Defendants move pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 12(b)(6) to dismiss plaintiff's § 1981 and § 1983 claims, and to strike from the complaint plaintiff's demands for compensatory and punitive damages and for a jury trial under § 2000e. In addition, Defendants argue that the Court should decline supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's state law claims, or in the alternative, should dismiss the state law claims.

 BACKGROUND

 In evaluating whether a complaint should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim, the court must assume the truth of plaintiff's well-pleaded factual allegations. See Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 283, 92 L. Ed. 2d 209, 106 S. Ct. 2932 (1986); LaBounty v. Adler, 933 F.2d 121, 123 (2d Cir. 1991). Accordingly, the following summary of facts is adopted from plaintiff's complaint.

 Plaintiff Sandra M. Brown is a Jamaican national and a permanent resident of the United States. Plaintiff was employed by defendant Bronx Cross County Medical Group ("BCCMG"), a private professional corporation, as a medical records clerk from August 1985 until July 3, 1990. The events giving rise to the instant controversy began when defendant Laura Gazlay became Ms. Brown's supervisor at BCCMG. Ms. Brown avers that Ms. Gazlay refused to accommodate her domestic schedule even though Ms. Gazlay routinely accommodated other similarly situated non-Black employees' schedules. Furthermore, Plaintiff alleges that Ms. Gazlay repeatedly harassed her, belittling Ms. Brown's Jamaican heritage and subjecting her to taunts and insults on a number of occasions.

 Moreover, Ms. Brown claims that, when one of her co-workers "abused [her] in front of clients and other co-workers," Ms. Gazlay refused to discipline the offending co-worker despite being asked to do so by her superior. On another occasion, Ms. Gazlay attempted to fire Ms. Brown for arriving late to work, but reinstated her when she later discovered that Ms. Brown had in fact arrived on time. When Ms. Brown submitted a written complaint concerning Ms. Gazlay's treatment of her to BCCMG's Regional Administrator, "defendant Gazlay's hostility towards plaintiff intensified and on July 3, 1990, plaintiff was terminated." Complaint, at 4.

 Ms. Brown filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), alleging discrimination based on race and national origin. On September 27, 1991, the EEOC issued a finding that there was no probable cause for further action, and plaintiff filed this action on December 6, 1991. *fn1"

 DISCUSSION

 Defendants move, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), to dismiss plaintiff's claims. In evaluating a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court treats the facts alleged as true for the purposes of evaluating the legal merits of the complaint, and must determine whether the complaint or certain claims therein must be dismissed as devoid of merit under relevant substantive law even if the facts alleged are ultimately proven. See Cortec Indus., Inc. v. Sum Holdings L.P., 949 F.2d 42, 47 (2d Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 112 S. Ct. 1561 (1992); Kramer v. Time Warner, Inc., 937 F.2d 767, 773 (2d Cir. 1991); Ryder Energy Dist. Corp. v. Merrill Lynch Commodities, Inc., 748 F.2d 774, 779 (2d Cir. 1984). "The issue is not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claims." Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236, 40 L. Ed. 2d 90, 94 S. Ct. 1683 (1974). Each of plaintiff's claims will be evaluated with reference to this standard.

 I. Plaintiff's Federal Statutory Claims

 A. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e

 Plaintiff filed her complaint on December 6, 1991. On November 21, 1991, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1991 ("the Act"), which amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e ("Title VII"), to allow the plaintiff in an employment discrimination action to sue for compensatory and punitive damages and to have her case heard by a jury. See Pub. S. No. 102-166, § 102, 105 Stat. 1071 (1991). Prior to these amendments, jury trials and compensatory and punitive damages had been held to be unavailable in cases brought under Title VII. See, e.g., Wade v. Orange County Sheriff's Office, 844 F.2d 951, 953 (2d Cir. 1988). Plaintiff concedes that all conduct and events involved in this action occurred prior to passage of the Act, but argues that the Act should be applied retroactively. Defendants argue against retroactive application, and move to strike plaintiff's demands for compensatory and punitive damages and for a jury trial.

 In Butts v. City of New York Department of Housing Preservation, and Development, 990 F.2d 1397, 1411 (2d Cir. 1993), the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the Act does not apply retroactively to cases involving conduct that occurred prior to passage of the Act. Thus, a cause of action brought under Title VII, as the statute applies to conduct occurring prior to enactment of the Act, is limited to a claim for reinstatement and back pay, and the Title VII plaintiff has no right to a jury trial. Therefore, defendants' motion ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.