Carleton v. Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Inc.
ORDER granting Motion to Consolidate Cases. Civil Action No. 13-cv-03410-CMA-MJW is CONSOLIDATED with Civil Action No. 13-cv-02906-CMA-MJW for all purposes. By Judge Christine M. Arguello on 05/22/2014. (athom, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge Christine M. Arguello
Civil Action No. 13-cv-02906-CMA-MJW (Consolidated for all purposes with
Civil Action No. 13-cv-03410-CMA-MJW)
COLORADO SCHOOL OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE, INC.,
a Colorado corporation,
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE CASES
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion to Consolidate Cases. (Case
No. 13-cv-02906-CMA-MJW, Doc. # 16.) For the reasons discussed below, the Court
grants the motion.
Both cases proposed for consolidation raise Title VII gender discrimination and
retaliation claims against the same Defendant, the Colorado School of Traditional
Chinese Medicine (“CSTCM”), for events largely caused by another CSTCM employee,
Vladimir Dibrigida. In the first case filed, Plaintiff Vanessa Stockmar, a former CSTCM
employee, alleges that Dibrigida engaged in sexually harassing behavior that gives rise
to a Title VII gender discrimination claim. Plaintiff Stockmar further alleges that CSTCM
terminated her employment after she filed a complaint with the EEOC, which she
alleges to give rise to a Title VII retaliation claim. (Case No. 13-cv-02906-CMA-MJW,
Doc. # 6 at 6-7.) In the second case, Plaintiff Tanya Carleton, another CSTCM
employee, alleges the same Title VII gender discrimination and retaliatory discharge
claims against CSTCM for the same type of sexual harassment and retaliatory
termination. (Case No. 13-cv-03410-CMA-CBS, Doc. # 6 at 1, 3-5, 10-12.)
Both Plaintiffs filed their complaints with this Court in late 2013. Plaintiff
Carleton, upon knowledge of Plaintiff Stockmar’s similar case, filed a motion to
consolidate her case with Plaintiff Stockmar’s. (Case No. 13-cv-02906-CMA-MJW, Doc.
# 16.) Plaintiff Stockmar does not oppose this motion. (Id. at 2.) Defendant did not
directly respond to the motion filed in Case No. 13-cv-02906, but it appears Defendant
attempted to respond to the motion by filing in Case No. 13-cv-03410 a pleading entitled
“Defendant’s Confession of Plaintiff’s Motion to Consolidate.” See (Case No. 13-cv03410-CMA-CBS, Doc. # 13.) This Court interprets Defendant’s “confession” to indicate
that it does not oppose the motion to consolidate.
II. LAW AND ANALYSIS
The determination whether to consolidate cases is governed by Rule 42(a) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides, in pertinent part:
When actions involving a common question of law or fact are pending
before the court, it may order a joint hearing or trial of any or all the
matters in issue in the actions; it may order all the actions consolidated;
and it may make such orders concerning proceedings therein as may
tend to avoid unnecessary costs or delay.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a). 1
The district judge to whom the oldest numbered case involved in the proposed consolidation
is assigned determines whether consolidation is proper. See D.C.COLO.LCivR 42.1.
This rule allows the Court “to decide how cases on its docket are to be
tried so that the business of the court may be dispatched with expedition and
economy while providing justice to the parties.” Breaux v. Am. Family Mut. Ins.
Co., 220 F.R.D. 366, 367 (D. Colo. 2004) (quoting 9 Charles Alan Wright, et al.,
Fed. Prac. & Proc. § 2381 at 427 (2d ed. 1995)). The decision whether to
consolidate cases is committed to this Court’s sound discretion. Adams v. Veolia
Transp., No. 11-cv-02491-PAB-KMT, 2012 WL 171470, at *1 (D. Colo. Jan. 20,
2012) (citing Shump v. Balka, 574 F.2d 1341, 1344 (10th Cir. 1978)).
For a number of reasons, common questions of law and fact predominate in
these two cases such that consolidation is appropriate and efficacious. First, both
cases share a common defendant. Second, both cases present nearly identical and
overlapping fact patterns giving rise to alleged employment discrimination: in particular,
both Plaintiffs claim Dibrigida made sexually explicit comments regarding women’s body
parts, described sexual encounters in explicit detail while at work, and spoke to both
about the sexual dreams he had about CSTCM employees (including the Plaintiffs).
(Case No. 13-cv-02906-CMA-MJW, Doc. # 6 at 2-6, Case No. 13-cv-03410-CMA-CBS,
Doc. # 6 at 3-9.) Third, both Plaintiffs allege they were fired because they filed claims
under Title VII with the EEOC. (Case No. 13-cv-02906-CMA-MJW, Doc. # 6 at 5-6,
Case No. 13-cv-03410-CMA-CBS, Doc. # 6 at 10.)
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED as follows:
1. That Plaintiff’s Motion to Consolidate (Case No. 13-cv-02906-CMA-MJW,
Doc. # 16) is GRANTED;
2. That pursuant to D.C.COLO.LCivR 42.1, Civil Action No. 13-cv-03410-CMACBS is REASSIGNED to Judge Christine M. Arguello and Magistrate Judge Michael J.
Watanabe, and shall bear Civil Action No. 13-cv-03410-CMA-MJW;
3. That pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a)(2) and D.C.COLO.LCivR 42.1, Civil
Action No. 13-cv-03410-CMA-MJW is CONSOLIDATED with Civil Action No. 13-cv02906-CMA-MJW for all purposes;
4. That all future filings in these consolidated actions shall be captioned as set
BY THE COURT:
CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO
United States District Judge
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