Ward v. Municipal Utilities Board of Decatur, Morgan County, Alabama
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER that the MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART as more fully set out in order. Signed by Judge C Lynwood Smith, Jr on 12/15/2014. (AHI)
2014 Dec-15 PM 01:24
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
BOARD OF DECATUR,
MORGAN COUNTY, ALBAMA,
d/b/a DECATUR UTILITIES,
Civil Action No. 5:13-CV-1411-CLS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDERS
This action was brought by Jwaun Ward against his former employer, the
Municipal Utilities Board of Decatur, Morgan County, Alabama, doing business as
the “Decatur Utilities.” Plaintiff’s complaint asserts claims of race discrimination,
harassment, retaliation, and a hostile work environment under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981.1
Plaintiff’s complaint also asserts supplemental state-law claims of wanton and
negligent supervision.2 See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). The case presently is before the
court on defendant’s motion for partial summary judgment on plaintiff’s race
Doc. no. 1 (Complaint), ¶¶ 55–66.
Id. ¶¶ 67–72.
discrimination and retaliatory termination claims, and his state-law claims of wanton
and negligent supervision.3 Plaintiff concedes that summary judgment is due to be
entered in favor of defendant on the latter, state-law claims.4 Upon consideration of
the pleadings, briefs, and evidentiary submissions as they relate to plaintiff’s federal
claims for race discrimination and retaliatory termination, this court concludes that
the motion should be granted in part and denied in part.
I. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARDS
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 provides that a court “shall grant summary
judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact
and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). In
other words, summary judgment is proper “after adequate time for discovery and
upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to that party’s case, and on which that party will
bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
“In making this determination, the court must review all evidence and make all
reasonable inferences in favor of the party opposing summary judgment.” Chapman
v. AI Transport, 229 F.3d 1012, 1023 (11th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (quoting Haves v.
Doc. no. 10 (Summary Judgment Motion).
Doc. no. 15 (Response to Summary Judgment Motion), at 2.
City of Miami, 52 F.3d 918, 921 (11th Cir. 1995)). Inferences in favor of the nonmoving party are not unqualified, however. “[A]n inference is not reasonable if it is
only a guess or a possibility, for such an inference is not based on the evidence, but
is pure conjecture and speculation.” Daniels v. Twin Oaks Nursing Home, 692 F.2d
1321, 1324 (11th Cir. 1983) (alteration supplied). Moreover,
[t]he mere existence of some factual dispute will not defeat summary
judgment unless that factual dispute is material to an issue affecting the
outcome of the case. The relevant rules of substantive law dictate the
materiality of a disputed fact. A genuine issue of material fact does not
exist unless there is sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party
for a reasonable jury to return a verdict in its favor.
Chapman, 229 F.3d at 1023 (quoting Haves, 52 F.3d at 921) (emphasis and alteration
supplied). See also Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251–52 (1986)
(asking “whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require
submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a
matter of law”).
II. SUMMARY OF FACTS
Defendant, Decatur Utilities, provides electricity, natural gas, water, and
wastewater services to the residents of the City of Decatur, Alabama.5 Plaintiff,
Jwaun Ward, is an African-American.6 He was hired as a crewman on one of Decatur
Doc. no. 12-1 (Nosal Declaration), ¶ 1.
Doc. no. 15 (Response to Summary Judgment Motion), at 1.
Utilities’ natural gas crews in January of 2011, and was moved to the same position
on a water main crew approximately six months later.7 Ward obtained a Commercial
Driver’s License in October of 2011, which allowed him to drive commercial vehicles
for his employer.8
Defendant’s Drug Testing Policy
Certain utility employees are subject to random drug testing, depending upon
their job duties. For example, federal regulations require utility companies to test
employees who maintain a Commercial Driver’s License, as well as employees who
may be called upon to perform work on a gas pipeline.9 The Human Resources
Manager of Decatur Utilities oversees the company’s drug testing procedures: i.e.,
four times a year, a computer randomly selects a group of employees to undergo drug
testing, and those individuals are required to immediately submit to an on-site
The Decatur Utilities drug testing policy defines the following “Levels of
Doc. no. 12-2 (Ward Deposition), at 11–12, 16–17. Ward remained in that position until
his employment was terminated on September 19, 2012. Id. at 18; doc. no. 12-4 (Lamb Deposition),
Doc. no. 12-2 (Ward Deposition), at 24.
Doc. no. 12-1 (Nosal Declaration), ¶ 4.
Doc. no. 12-4 (Lamb Deposition), at 14–15
2. Employees who have a [Medical Review Officer] verified
positive drug test result will be suspended for ten (10) working days
without pay and referred immediately to a [Substance Abuse
3. Refusal to report for assessment with a [Substance Abuse
Professional] is grounds for immediate termination.
4. Refusal to enter or successfully complete rehabilitation or
treatment program is grounds for immediate termination.
Doc. no. 12-3 (Decatur Utilities Drug Testing Policy), at ECF 21 (alterations
supplied). An employee handout summarizing the company’s drug testing policy
warns that “employees who refuse to submit to drug and alcohol testing may be
subject to immediate termination.”11 An employee’s refusal to take a drug test is
considered to be the equivalent of a positive drug test result.12
Plaintiff’s Refusal to Submit to Testing
Jwaun Ward was randomly selected, along with five other employees, to take
a drug test on September 6, 2012.13 That was the second occasion during 2012 that
Doc. no. 12-2 (Drug and Alcohol Policy Summary), at ECF 40. “ECF” is the acronym for
“Electronic Case Filing,” a system that allows parties to file and serve documents electronically. See
Atterbury v. Foulk, No. C-07-6256 MHP, 2009 WL 4723547, *6 n.6 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 8, 2009).
Bluebook Rule 7.1.4 permits citations to the “page numbers generated by the ECF header.” Wilson
v. Fullwood, 772 F. Supp. 2d 246, 257 n.5 (D.D.C. 2011) (citing The Bluebook: A Uniform System
of Citation R. B. 7.1.4, at 21 (Columbia Law Review Ass’n et al., 19th ed. 2010)). Even so, the
Bluebook recommends “against citation to ECF pagination in lieu of original pagination.” Wilson,
772 F. Supp. 2d at 257 n.5. Thus, unless stated otherwise, this court will cite the original pagination
in the parties’ pleadings. When the court cites to pagination generated by the ECF header, it will,
as here, precede the page number with the letters “ECF.”
Doc. no. 12-3 (Hardin Deposition), at 31.
Doc. no. 12-4 (Lamb Deposition), at 66–70.
Ward had been selected.14 Human Resources Manager Christy Lamb oversaw the
drug testing of the six individuals.15 On the morning of his selection, Ward was
instructed by his supervisor in the presence of other employees to drive to the front
office, and to “go pee in a cup in front of the work group.”16 Ward felt “humiliated,
embarrassed, and belittled” by his supervisor’s comments.17 Those feelings were
exacerbated by the fact that, during the previous months of May and June, the same
supervisor had said that Ward “was going to be the first nigger that he fired [for
failing] a drug test,” and that he was going to make Ward take “four or five” more
drug tests before the end of the year in an effort to “kill him with the drug test.”18
Rather than drive to the front office to take the test, however, Ward went to the
office of Superintendent Butch Smith and stated that he was going home, and
explained that he was “not going to entertain [his supervisor’s] request because of the
way he asked.”19 At Butch Smith’s request, Ward called Human Resources Manager
Doc. no. 12-2 (Ward Deposition), at 88.
Doc. no. 12-4 (Lamb Deposition), at 9, 14.
Doc. no. 12-2 (Ward Deposition), at 112.
Id. at 113.
Id. at 106–108 (alteration supplied). Significantly, neither party addressed these comments
— or the many other instances in which Ward was subjected to racist remarks and threats by
supervisors and fellow employees — in their briefs on this motion. See, e.g., doc. nos. 11, 15, 16.
It is undisputed, however, that Ward was selected randomly by a computer. Compare doc. no. 11
(Summary Judgment Brief), at 3, ¶¶ 9–10, with doc. no. 15 (Response to Summary Judgment
Motion), at 3, ¶¶ 1–12 (admitting defendant’s statement that Ward was selected randomly by a
Doc. no. 12-2 (Ward Deposition), at 113.
Christy Lamb before leaving the premises and told her about his supervisor’s
comments.20 Lamb told Ward that he was selected at random, and that if he refused
to take the drug test, then his employment would be terminated.21 Ward informed
Lamb that he did not take issue with the drug test, only the manner in which his
supervisor addressed him.22 Lamb did not ask Ward to take the drug test during that
conversation, even though he offered to do so.23 Ward asked Lamb to meet with him
on the following morning, and Lamb agreed.24
Ward met with Christy Lamb and Manager Jimmy Evans on the following
morning, September 7, 2012, to discuss the drug test.25 Lamb asserted that Ward had
refused to take the drug test on the previous day, but Ward denied that assertion and
then offered again to take the test.26 Lamb and Evans did not accept the offer. Ward
also stated that he had suffered mistreatment from fellow employees and from his
supervisors because of his race. This was the first such complaint Ward had made to
a Human Resources officer at Decatur Utilities.27 Lamb and Evans suspended Ward
Id. at 113, 116.
Id. at 115.
Id. at 120.
Id. at 121.
Doc. no. 12-2 (Ward Deposition), at 118.
Id. at 111-112.
for refusing the drug test, and stated that Manager Jimmy Evans would investigate his
Christy Lamb informed Ward during a telephone conversation on September
14, 2012, that he would be required to complete a drug awareness program in order
to retain his employment at Decatur Utilities.29 Ward refused. He later testified: “I
was not okay with that. Never had an issue with drug abuse, drugs, nothing. I
mentioned to Christy Lamb that that was not me to attend a drug awareness
Beginning on September 6, 2012, following Ward’s refusal to report for drug
testing, Human Resources Manager Christy Lamb frequently briefed her supervisor,
General Manager Ray Hardin, on Ward’s situation.31 During a meeting on some
undisclosed date after September 6th, but before September 19th, Lamb informed
Hardin that Jimmy Evans’s investigation had revealed no evidence of racially
motivated mistreatment of Ward.32 The two also discussed Ward’s drug testing
during that meeting: an issue that Hardin described as “independent” of Evans’s
Id. at 119, 122; doc. no. 12-3 (Hardin Deposition), at 10, 12.
Doc. no. 12-2 (Ward Deposition), at 122–24.
Id. at 124.
Doc. no. 12-3 (Hardin Deposition), at 10.
Id. at 38.
investigation.33 Lamb recommended that Hardin terminate Ward’s employment,
based upon his refusal to see a Substance Abuse Professional or to enter a drug
awareness program.34 Hardin accepted Lamb’s recommendation.35
Christy Lamb met with Ward on September 19, 2012, and informed him that
his employment with Decatur Utilities had been terminated.36 She did not give him
a reason for his termination.37
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Charge and Dismissal
Plaintiff filed a formal “Charge of Discrimination” with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission on October 12, 2012.38 The agency issued a
“Dismissal and Notice of Rights” on May 9th of the following year, stating that it had
terminated its investigation of his charge because it was unable to conclude that the
information obtained established violations of the civil rights statutes.39 That
document notified plaintiff of his right to file suit, and this action followed.
III. DISCRIMINATORY TERMINATION
Ward’s discriminatory termination claim is asserted under Title VII of the Civil
Id. at 39; see also id. at 12.
Id. at 39; doc. no. 12-4 (Lamb Deposition), at 56.
Doc. no. 12-3 (Hardin Deposition), at 39–40.
Doc. no. 12-2 (Ward Deposition), at 125; doc. no. 12-4 (Lamb Deposition), at 38.
Doc. no. 12-2 (Ward Deposition), at 126.
Doc. no. 26 (EEOC Charge), at ECF 3–4.
Id. (Dismissal and Notice of Rights), at ECF 7.
Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., as well as 42 U.S.C. §
1981.40 “Both of these statutes have the same requirements of proof and use the same
analytical framework . . . .” Standard v. A.B.E.L. Services, Inc., 161 F.3d 1318, 1330
(11th Cir. 1998). The essential element under each statute is proof that the employer
intentionally inflicted the adverse employment action complained of because of the
plaintiff’s race. See, e.g., Vessels v. Atlanta Independent School System, 408 F.3d
763, 767 (11th Cir. 2005) (observing that disparate treatment claims based upon a
plaintiff’s race and “brought under Title VII, § 1981, and § 1983, all require proof of
Ward attempts to establish Decatur Utilities’ discriminatory intent through the
use of circumstantial evidence.41 Federal courts evaluate the sufficiency of such
evidence using some variant of the analytical framework announced by the Supreme
Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973), and elaborated
in Texas Department of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248 (1981). See
also, e.g., St. Mary’s Honor Center v. Hicks, 509 U.S. 502 (1993); Chapman v. AI
Transport, 229 F.3d 1012, 1024 (11th Cir. 2004) (en banc); Berman v. Orkin
Exterminating Co., Inc., 160 F.3d 697, 701 (11th Cir. 1998); Bigge v. Albertsons,
Doc. no. 1 (Complaint), ¶¶ 38–46.
See doc. no. 15 (Response to Summary Judgment Motion), at 8.
Inc., 894 F.2d 1497, 1501 (11th Cir. 1990). Under that familiar framework, a plaintiff
must first establish a prima facie case of disparate treatment, which creates a
presumption of discrimination. To rebut that presumption, the employer must
articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the contested employment action.
If the employer does so, the presumption of discrimination drops from the case, and
the burden shifts back to the plaintiff to show that the employer’s proffered reason is
merely a pretext for unlawful discrimination. See, e.g., McDonnell Douglas, 411 U.S.
at 802–05; Burdine, 450 U.S. at 252–56.
The specific elements of a plaintiff’s prima facie case generally vary with the
nature of the adverse employment action that is complained of. When, as here, the
adverse employment action is disciplinary, a plaintiff usually must prove that: he
belongs to a protected class; he suffered an adverse employment action; he was
qualified for the position he held; and his employer treated similarly situated
employees outside his protected class more favorably. See, e.g., Smith v. LockheedMartin Corp., 644 F.3d 1321, 1325 (11th Cir. 2011); McCann v. Tillman, 526 F.3d
1370, 1373 (11th Cir. 2008); Burke-Fowler v. Orange County, Florida, 447 F.3d
1319, 1323 (11th Cir. 2006); Knight v. Baptist Hospital of Miami, Inc., 330 F.3d
1313, 1316 (11th Cir. 2003); Maniccia v. Brown, 171 F.3d 1364, 1369 (11th Cir.
Ward has not identified an employee outside of his protected class who was
treated more favorably.42 Nevertheless, he contends that, under Jones v. Gerwens,
874 F.2d 1534 (11th Cir. 1989), he can establish a prima facie case by showing that
he did not violate the work rule for which he was disciplined.43 In Gerwens, the
Eleventh Circuit held that
in cases involving alleged racial bias in the application of discipline for
violation of work rules, the plaintiff, in addition to being a member of
a protected class, must show either (a) that he did not violate the work
rule, or (b) that he engaged in misconduct similar to that of a person
outside the protected class, and that the disciplinary measures enforced
against him were more severe than those enforced against the other
persons who engaged in similar misconduct.
Id. at 1540. That holding was limited by the Circuit’s subsequent holding in Jones
v. Bessemer Carraway Medical Center, 137 F.3d 1306 (11th Cir. 1998), in which the
panel stressed that
under the Jones formulation, no plaintiff can make out a prima facie
case by showing just that she belongs to a protected class and that she
did not violate her employer’s work rule. The plaintiff must also point
to someone similarly situated (but outside the protected class) who
disputed a violation of the rule and who was, in fact, treated better.
Id. at 1311 n.6.
Ward contends that, pursuant to the prior precedent rule, the Bessemer panel
Doc. no. 15 (Response to Summary Judgment Motion).
could not so limit the prior panel’s holding in Gerwens. See United States v. Steele,
147 F.3d 1316, 1317–18 (11th Cir. 1998) (en banc) (“Under our prior precedent rule,
a panel cannot overrule a prior one’s holding even though convinced it is wrong.”).
That rule does not apply to dicta in a prior panel’s decision, however. See Swann v.
Southern Health Partners, Inc., 388 F.3d 834, 837 (11th Cir. 2004) (holding that “the
prior panel rule does not extend to dicta.”) overruled, in part, on other grounds by
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). The Bessemer panel explicitly found that the
statements in Gerwens that are relied upon by Ward were dicta: “Considering the
facts in Jones, our impression is that words about ‘did not violate the work rule’ are
unnecessary to the decision in Jones and are dicta.
137 F.3d at 1311 n.6.
Accordingly, plaintiff’s argument fails.
Even so, that is not the end of discussion. A plaintiff who fails to identify a
comparator still may create a “triable issue concerning the employer’s discriminatory
intent” by showing a “convincing mosaic of circumstantial evidence that would allow
a jury to infer intentional discrimination by the decisionmaker.” Smith v. LockheedMartin Corp., 644 F.3d 1321, 1328 (11th Cir. 2011). The plaintiff in Smith overcame
his failure to identify a comparator by offering “compelling evidence of . . . numerous
incidents where the discipline of white employees varied considerably from that of
black employees, and a ‘discipline matrix’ created by the employer that tracked the
discipline and race of employees.” Connelly v. Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit
Authority, 764 F.3d 1358, 1364 (11th Cir. 2014) (some internal quotation marks
omitted). The plaintiff’s evidence in Smith precluded summary judgment, at least in
part, because it indicated clearly that the employer “consciously injected race
considerations into its discipline decision making without an adequate explanation
for doing so.” Smith, 644 F.3d at 1341.
The evidence here is not nearly so probative of discrimination. Ward has
offered no evidence that either Human Resources Manager Christy Lamb or General
Manager Ray Hardin considered race in taking any disciplinary action against any
Decatur Utilities employee. He has thus failed to establish a prima facie case of a
discriminatory termination on the basis of race. Accordingly, summary judgment is
due to be entered in favor of defendant on that claim.
IV. RETALIATORY TERMINATION
Ward also contends that Decatur Utilities terminated his employment in
retaliation for his complaints of discrimination and harassment, in violation of Title
VII and § 1981.44 Once again, the elements of proof for a retaliation claim are the
same under both Title VII and § 1981. See, e.g., Standard v. A.B.E.L., 161 F.3d at
1330. Moreover, when there is no direct evidence of retaliation, courts again employ
Doc. no. 1 (Complaint).
the burden-shifting analytical framework articulated in McDonnell Douglas and
Burdine to evaluate a plaintiff’s circumstantial evidence of retaliation. To establish
a prima facie case of retaliation, a plaintiff must demonstrate that: he engaged in
statutorily protected activity; he suffered an adverse employment action; and there is
a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse employment
action. See, e.g., Hurlbert v. St. Mary’s Health Care System, Inc., 439 F.3d 1286,
1297 (11th Cir. 2006). If the plaintiff does so, the employer must come forward with
a legitimate, non-retaliatory reason for the adverse employment action. Holified v.
Reno, 115 F.3d 1555, 1566 (11th Cir. 1997). If the employer does so, the plaintiff
then bears the burden of demonstrating that the employer’s stated reason is merely a
pretextual excuse for retaliation. Id.
This court will assume, for the sake of the following discussion, that Ward
made out a prima facie case of retaliatory termination, as Decatur Utilities has made
no argument to the contrary.45 Even so, Decatur Utilities articulated two reasons for
terminating Ward’s employment: his refusal to take a drug test; and his refusal to be
evaluated by a Substance Abuse Professional.46 Accordingly, Decatur Utilities met
its burden of coming forward with legitimate, non-retaliatory reasons for firing Ward.
See doc. no. 16 (Reply Brief).
Doc. no. 11 (Summary Judgment Brief), at 7.
In order to show that the employer’s stated reasons are merely a pretext for
retaliation, a plaintiff “must demonstrate such weaknesses, implausibilities,
inconsistencies, incoherencies, or contradictions in the employer’s proffered
legitimate reasons for its action that a reasonable factfinder could find them unworthy
of credence.” Alvarez v. Royal Atlantic Developers, Inc., 610 F.3d 1253, 1265 (11th
Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks omitted); see also, e.g., Kragor v. Takeda
Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., 702 F.3d 1304, 1308 (11th Cir. 2012); Combs v.
Plantation Patterns, 106 F.3d 1519, 1538 (11th Cir. 1997); Cooper-Houston v.
Southern Railway Co., 37 F.3d 603, 605 (11th Cir. 1994).
Ward acknowledges that he initially refused to take the drug test on September
6, 2012, but testified that he offered to take the test to Human Resources Manager
Christy Lamb on that same day, as well as during the meeting with Lamb and Jimmy
Evans the following morning.47 According to Lamb, such an offer, accompanied by
a negative test result, would obviate any need for disciplinary action.48
“In appropriate circumstances, the trier of fact can reasonably infer from the
falsity of the explanation that the employer is dissembling to cover up a
discriminatory purpose.” Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S.
Doc. no. 12-2 (Ward Deposition), at 118–120.
Doc. no. 12-4 (Lamb Deposition), at 27.
133, 148 (2000). According to Christy Lamb’s own understanding of Decatur
Utilities’ drug testing policy, Ward was not in violation of that policy once he told
Lamb on the afternoon of September 6th that he would take the test. Accordingly,
Ward has demonstrated that Decatur Utilities’ first articulated reason for his
termination — i.e., his refusal to take the drug test — is unworthy of credence.
As discussed in Part II.A of this opinion, if a Decatur Utilities employee refuses
a drug test, then that refusal is treated as a positive test result, and the employee will
be required to see a Substance Abuse Professional.49 As previously noted, Christy
Lamb testified that if Ward had offered to take the drug test, and if the result were
negative, then discipline would not have been required.50 It follows, then, that Ward’s
two offers to take the test should have precluded any requirement that he see a
Substance Abuse Professional. Nevertheless, Lamb ignored Ward’s offers and
instead informed him that he was required to see a Substance Abuse Professional as
a condition of his continued employment.51 When Ward refused, Lamb recommended
his termination to Ray Hardin, and Hardin accepted her recommendation.52
An employer’s assertion that an employee violated a work rule is “arguably
Doc. no. 12-3 (Decatur Utilities Drug Testing Policy), at ECF 21.
Doc. no. 12-4 (Christy Lamb Deposition), at 27.
Doc. no. 12-2 (Ward Deposition), at 123–25.
Doc. no. 12-4 (Christy Lamb Deposition), at 56.
pretextual when a plaintiff submits evidence . . . that [he] did not violate the cited
work rule.” Damon v. Fleming Supermarkets of Florida, Inc., 196 F.3d 1354, 1363
(11th Cir. 1999) (alteration supplied). By Lamb’s own understanding of Decatur
Utilities’ drug testing policy, Ward was not in violation of that policy once he told her
on the afternoon of September 6th that he would take the test. Nevertheless, Lamb
recommended his termination on the basis that he violated company policy by
refusing to see a Substance Abuse Professional. The court concludes that Ward has
demonstrated that this second reason for his termination — i.e., his refusal to see a
Substance Abuse Professional — is unworthy of credence.
Accordingly, defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s
retaliatory termination claim is due to be denied.
In accordance with the foregoing, Decatur Utilities’ motion for partial summary
judgment is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. The motion as to Jwaun Ward’s
claims for wanton and negligent supervision is GRANTED, and those claims are
DISMISSED with prejudice. The motion as to Ward’s claims for discriminatory
termination on the basis of his race is GRANTED, and those claims are DISMISSED
with prejudice. The motion is DENIED in all other respects, and the following claims
remain pending: plaintiff’s Title VII and § 1981 racial harassment claims (Counts I
and II, respectively); and plaintiff’s Title VII and § 1981 retaliatory termination
claims (Counts III and IV, respectively). All remaining claims will be set for pre-trial
conference by separate order.
DONE and ORDERED this 15th day of December, 2014.
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?