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Bumpus v. New York City Transit Auth.

Other Lower Courts

February 13, 2008

Tracy Bumpus, Plaintiff,
v.
New York City Transit Authority and & Jane Doe, Defendants.

Editorial Note:

This case is not published in a printed volume and its disposition appears in a table in the reporter.

COUNSEL

The plaintiff is represented by Housing Works, Inc., by Robert F. Bacigalupi, Esq., and Ignacio Jaureguilorda, Esq., of counsel.

The defendant is represented by Office of the General Counsel, New York City Transit Authority, by Kimberly Westcott, Esq., Melissa Katz, Esq., and Richard Schoolman, Esq., of counsel.

OPINION

Robert J. Miller, J.

In this action, the defendant "Jane Doe," an employee of the New York City Transit Authority (the "NYCTA"), moves for an order, pursuant to CPLR 306-b and 3211(A)(2), dismissing the complaint of Tracy Bumpus ("Bumpus"), a transgender woman [1] who alleges that the defendant Jane Doe (subsequently identified as Lorna Smith) ("Doe-Smith") verbally harassed and humiliated her by using derogatory names and bigoted epithets because of plaintiff's gender identity and expression.

On January 29, 2007, the plaintiff commenced the instant action in which she alleged, among other things, that Doe-Smith discriminated against her on July 19, 2006 by using uncivil language ("bigoted epithets") because of plaintiffs "gender and identity and expression" in violation of the New York City Administrative code 8-107(4)(a) (in a part of that code referred to as the New York City Human Rights Law). The complaint also alleges that the NYCTA negligently trained, supervised, and retained Doe-Smith.

As set forth in the complaint, the plaintiff is a 40 year-old transgender woman. She was born anatomically male, Ms. Bumpus has had a female gender identity, and lives and dresses each day as a woman. Bumpus is on hormone therapy, prescribed by her doctor in order to change her physical appearance to that of a woman. According to the plaintiff's complaint, defendants' discriminatory acts consisted of the following:

On July 19th, Ms. Bumpus entered the Nostrand Avenue station of the "A" subway line and sought assistance from a NYCTA service agent on duty outside the service booth because her Metrocard was not functioning properly; After Bumpus's request for assistance, the NYCTA employee [Lorna Smith], using a loud voice spoke a steady stream of discriminatory, transgender-phobic epithets in a pointed manner towards the plaintiff, for a period of approximately ten minutes and in the presence of other commuters;

Other passengers who had witnessed Doe-Smith speaking to Bumpus followed the plaintiff off the subway car she had taken and proceeded to verbally harass and threaten her;

That same day plaintiff made a complaint to the NYCTA;

On July 20th, 2006 Bumpus was called by a NYCTA supervisor in response to her complaint, at which time she described the incident;

On July 25th, Bumpus entered the same subway transit station at the Nostrand Avenue "A" subway. Doe-Smith was present and after seeing Bumpus, pointed her out to two of her colleagues, and all ...


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