Fuller v. Star Fiber Glass

Filing 117

ORDER denying 101 Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law. Signed by Judge William R. Wilson, Jr on 6/3/09. (mkf)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS WESTERN DIVISION CAROL L. FULLER v. FIBER GLASS SYSTEMS, LP ORDER Pending is Defendant's Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law (Doc. No. 101). Plaintiff has responded,1 and both parties have replied.2 While Dominic v. DeVilbiss Air Power Company3 is similar in some respects to the case at bar, I believe it is distinguishable in three ways. First, while it appears that Mr. Stockman performed a reasonably good in-house investigation, there was no outside, detached employment law expert to evaluate all the facts and circumstances involved. Second, I am not satisfied that Defendant's racial harassment policy at the time of Plaintiff's employment was "zero-tolerance." Plaintiff contends that Defendant's policy is more reactive -- a wait and see approach -- as opposed to the defendant's proactive and preventive method in Dominic.4 I agree. Besides, Defendant concedes that its policy does not contain the phrase "zero-tolerance."5 And third, I don't recall that the evidence revealed that Defendant limited the direct contact with the supervisor who, according to Plaintiff, took no action on her complaints. 4:07-CV-01120-WRW DEFENDANT PLAINTIFF 1 Doc. No. 109. Doc. Nos. 115, 116. 493 F.3d 968 (8th Cir. 2007). Id. Doc. No. 115 ("Defendant's policies do not contain the phrase `zero tolerance.'"). 1 2 3 4 5 Additionally, I note that defense counsel cites no authority for its argument that Juror No. 11's statement "demonstrates that no reasonable jury could conclude punitive damages should be assessed against FGS,"6 and I doubt that there is any. I'm satisfied that Judge Deere's response to defense counsel's request to interrogate the juror was proper, and I see this as no reason to remove punitive damages from a jury's consideration. Accordingly, Defendant's Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law is DENIED. IT IS SO ORDERED this 3rd day of June, 2009. /s/ Wm. R. Wilson, Jr._____________ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 6 Doc. No. 101. 2

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