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THANNING v. GULOTTA

September 19, 1995

LONE THANNING, Plaintiff, against THOMAS S. GULOTTA, as county executive of Nassau County, and LESLIE LUKASH, individually and as Chief Medical Examiner of the County of Nassau, Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEONARD D. WEXLER

 WEXLER, District Judge

 Plaintiff Lone Thanning ("plaintiff" or "Thanning") brought the above-captioned civil rights action against defendants Thomas S. Gulotta ("Gulotta"), in his official capacity as County Executive for Nassau County (the "County"), and Leslie Lukash ("Lukash"), in both his individual capacity and official capacity as the County's medical examiner (collectively, "defendants"), alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"), and state and common law. Presently before the Court is defendants' motion, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), for an order dismissing portions of the complaint.

 I. THE COMPLAINT

 The complaint states that in July 1986 Thanning was employed by the County in the Office of the Medical Examiner (the "Office") as a Fellow Medical Examiner-Forensic Pathologist. One year later, she was promoted to the position of Deputy Medical Examiner-Forensic Pathologist. The complaint also states that Thanning's employment was terminated on August 16, 1993. Events taking place during the period between July 1986 and August 1993 -- events which allegedly led to Thanning's termination -- are the subject matter of this lawsuit.

 Thanning, who is a woman, alleges that during the course of her employment in the Office she was subjected to a persistent course of unwelcome sexual harassment. The perpetrator, she alleges, was Lukash, the County's Chief Medical Examiner and Thanning's direct superior. The complaint describes the sexual harassment occurring during the period as follows:

 (1) Lukash touched and fondled Thanning;

 (2) Lukash posed questions to Thanning about her sexual and social life;

 (3) Lukash frequently made comments to Thanning, such as: "'Don't screw the homicide cops'" and "'Don't screw the attorneys you work with'";

 (4) when Thanning "refused to respond" to Lukash's advances, Lukash called Thanning a lesbian and told other employees at the Office that Thanning was a lesbian;

 (5) also in retaliation, Lukash told employees at the Office that, because Thanning was a lesbian, "she was a 'waste of a good screw'";

 (6) Lukash also told employees at the Office that "it was a 'waste of a good pussy"';

 (7) at a staff meeting, Lukash "looked directly at plaintiff for several seconds and announced that he knew of an opening for a 'homosexual forensic pathologist.'"

 Aside from having to cope with the harassment itself, Thanning alleges that, because she rejected Lukash's sexual advances, Lukash refused to give her an increase in seniority in September 1991, and decided to terminate her employment on August 16, 1993. As a result, Thanning alleges, she missed out on salary increases and promotions; she lost esteem in the ...


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