United States District Court, S.D. New York
the plaintiff Larry Negron: Ian Francis Wallace Law Offices
of Ian Wallace, PLLC
the defendants: Alice Kokodis Laura Mae Raisty Littler
OPINION & ORDER
Cote United States District Judge
Larry Negron (“Negron”) brought this action in
2015, alleging race discrimination and retaliation in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42
U.S.C. § 1981, the New York State Human Rights Law
(“NYSHRL”), and the New York City Human Rights
Law (“NYCHRL”). With the completion of discovery
near at hand, Negron has moved to voluntarily dismiss his
amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
41(a)(2). For the following reasons, Negron's motion will
be granted following the close of discovery subject to his
consent to the conditions described below.
filed this action on October 21, 2015, and an amended
complaint on May 12, 2016. On July 22, the defendants moved
to dismiss the action, and on November 22, the case was
reassigned to this Court.
conference on December 7, the Court granted the
defendants' motion in part, dismissing all claims against
defendants Steve Curtis (“Curtis”) and Jeff
Lovvorn (“Lovvorn”) as well as ruling on the
statute of limitations applicable to each of the remaining
claims. In particular, the Court found that the
continuing-violations doctrine did not apply to Negron's
claims, even when construed broadly as required by the
NYCHRL. The Court also set a January 27, 2017 deadline for
the parties to respond to their initial document demands and
an April 28, 2017 deadline for all fact discovery. An Opinion
setting out the Court's reasoning for its rulings was
filed on December 13, 2016. Negron v. Bank of Am.
Corp., No. 15 Civ. 8296, 2016 WL 7238959 (DLC) (S.D.N.Y.
Dec. 13, 2016).
letters dated December 12, the parties identified two
discovery disputes, namely, the appropriate comparators for
Negron's discrimination claims and the scope of searches
for relevant emails in the defendants' systems. At a
conference on December 15, the Court limited certain
discovery to comparators in Negron's business subgroup
and imposed limits on e-discovery.
December 16, Negron sought and was granted an extension of
time to move for reconsideration of the decision on the
motion to dismiss. Despite the extension, Negron never made
such a motion. By letter dated December 20, Negron provided
additional information concerning his request for comparator
information, and the Court adhered to its previous ruling in
a memo endorsement of December 21.
January 20, Negron filed a complaint in the New York Supreme
Court in Bronx County, alleging the same conduct underlying
his federal claims but seeking relief under state and city
law only. Negron did not serve the defendants but sought
their consent on January 9 to the voluntary dismissal of his
federal claims with a “remand” of the remainder
of the action to state court. The defendants replied that they
would only consider such a stipulation if Negron agreed not
to relitigate “the scope of discovery.” Negron
did not agree. On February 15, Negron notified the defendants
that he had filed the state court action and requested that
the defendants stipulate to dismissal of the federal lawsuit
with the conditions that Negron would not relitigate the
scope of the defendants' responses to the plaintiff's
document requests and would not renew his claims against
Curtis and Lovvorn. The defendants rejected Negron's
request the following day.
February 20, Negron moved to voluntarily dismiss his federal
claims with prejudice. The defendants oppose Negron's
motion, which became fully submitted on March 13.
the defendants have answered the amended complaint and have
not agreed to a stipulation of dismissal, this “action
may be dismissed at the plaintiff's request only by court
order, on terms that the court considers proper.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a)(2). A motion to dismiss under this
provision should not be granted “if the defendant would
suffer some plain legal prejudice other than the mere
prospect of a second lawsuit.” Kwan v.