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BARON v. PORT AUTH. OF NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY

September 4, 1997

PATRICIA BARON, et al., Plaintiff, against PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY, Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: MOTLEY

Plaintiffs filed separate complaints on September 13, 1996 against the defendants alleging violations of;

 
(1) 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("1983") for employment discrimination based on age and sex and for the deprivation of contract, property and due process rights,
 
(3) New York Human Rights Law ("HRL") and New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("LAD") prohibiting employment discrimination based on age,
 
(4) common law breach of contract.

 The court consolidated the cases by order dated December 12, 1996. On February 17, 1997, defendants' filed a motion for partial summary judgment as a matter of law as to all claims asserted against the Commissioners, as to the § 1983 claim of deprivation of contract, property and due process rights asserted against all defendants, and as to the Title VII and ADEA claims asserted against the supervisors and PA. *fn1" The court heard arguments on defendants' motion on April 25, 1997. By memorandum opinion dated June 29, 1997, this court granted defendants' partial summary judgment motion as to the Title VII and ADEA claims due to plaintiffs' failure to timely file an EEOC charge and as to the HRL and LAD claims due to the New York and New Jersey antidiscrimination agencies lack of jurisdiction over defendant PA. Baron, et al., v. Port Authority, et al., 968 F. Supp. 924 (S.D.N.Y. 1997). This court now addresses defendants' motion in regards to the § 1983 claim asserted against all defendants for violating contract, property and due process rights and in regards to the claims asserted against the Commissioners. *fn2" The court assumes familiarity with the earlier proceedings of this case and notes only those facts pertinent to the disposition of the matter now before the court.

 FACTS

 Plaintiffs are New York Citizens who were terminated from their respective positions by the defendants on September 15, 1995. Plaintiff Baron is a 54 years old woman who began working for defendant Port Authority in 1966 and was eventually promoted to the position of Managing Director of the Port Authority Gateway American Committee in the Government and Community Affairs Department of Port Authority ("GCAD"). Plaintiff Diaz is a 45 year old Hispanic woman who began working for defendant Port Authority in 1987 as the New York Legislative Representative, a managerial position in GCAD. Plaintiff Toole began working for defendant Port Authority in 1984 and was eventually promoted to the position of Client Manager in GCAD. Plaintiff Ilan is a 51 year old man who began working for defendant Port Authority in 1970 and was eventually promoted to the position of Manager of the Division of Economic Trends in the Port Authority's Office of Economic and Policy Analysis.

 Defendant Port Authority ("PA") is a bistate public agency created by Compact in 1921 between New York and New Jersey with its principal place of business in New York. Defendant Port Authority's essential governmental functions are to develop, coordinate and operate terminal, transportation and other facilities of commerce in and through New York. PA consists of a board of twelve Commissioners who are defendant Kathleen A. Donovan, Chairperson; defendant Charles Gargano, Vice-Chairperson; and defendants Lewis M. Eisenberg, James G. Hellmuth, Henry F. Henderson, Jr., Robert C. Janiszewski, Peter Kalikow, George D. O'Neill, Alan Philibosian, Melvin L. Schwetzer, Bincent Tese, and Frank J. Wilson, members of the Board. (hereinafter, "Commissioners"). The other defendants hold various positions at the PA and are as follows; George J. Marline, Executive Director; Paul Blanco, Chief Administrative Officer; Richard Codd, Director of GCAD; and Louis J. LaCapra, Director of Human Resources.

 Plaintiffs allege that on September 7, 1995, the Commissioners met and adopted a resolution authorizing department directors to fire managerial employees in the exercise of "sound business and policy discretion of management." The resolution is alleged to be contrary to previous board resolutions and PA policies. Plaintiffs allege that as a result of the resolution, defendants Marlin, Blanco, Codd and LaCapra immediately implemented a massive reduction in force, with defendant Codd terminating several employees, including plaintiffs, on September 15, 1995. Plaintiffs assert that Codd's decision on which employees to fire was based on political favoritism, age, sex and national origin and that he targeted for termination female management-level employees and management level employees over the age of 40 while sparing the jobs of younger, male, or Republican management level employees. Plaintiffs allege that positions for which they would have been qualified have been filled by individuals with less seniority.

 DISCUSSION

 I. Standard for Summary Judgment

 The court may grant summary judgment if, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-movant, the court determines that "there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Suburban Propane v. Proctor Gas, Inc., 953 F.2d 780, 788 (2d Cir. 1992); Eastman Kodak Co. v. Image Technical Services, Inc., 504 U.S. 451, 456, 119 L. Ed. 2d 265, 112 S. Ct. 2072 (1992) ("all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in the ...


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