Barrale et al v. Gateway Hotel Holdings, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER. (see order for details) IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendants' motion to sever or in the alternative for separate trials [# 7 ] is denied without prejudice. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant's motion to dismiss claims brought by Gail Edwards against Dominic Smart [# 9 ] is denied. This case is set for a Rule 16 Scheduling Conference by separate order. Signed by District Judge Catherine D. Perry on 11/15/2012. (CBL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
DON BARRALE, et al.,
GATEWAY HOTEL HOLDINGS,
INC., et al.,
Case No. 4:12CV1895 CDP
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This employment discrimination action is brought by Don Barrale, Gail
Edwards, Pearl Hosie, Cynthia Schmitz, and Kelly Tuttle against Gateway Hotel
Holdings, Inc. and Dominic Smart. Defendants have moved to sever plaintiffs’
claims, or in the alternative, for separate trials. I will deny that motion without
prejudice, and set the case for a Rule 16 scheduling conference. If defendants
believe that separate trials are appropriate, they should so indicate in their
proposed joint scheduling plan. That plan should include details such as the
appropriate order in which the trials should proceed.
Defendant Smart has also moved to dismiss the claims brought against him
by plaintiff Gail Edwards. Smart argues that Edwards failed to exhaust her
administrative remedies because her charge of discrimination with the Missouri
Commission on Human Rights did not name Smart as a respondent. As a
prerequisite to filing suit under the MHRA, a complainant must file a timely
administrative charge against the allegedly discriminating party. See Mo. Rev.
Stat. § 213.075.1. There are exceptions to the general rule that the defendant be
named in the charge, including the “identity of interests” and “actual notice”
exceptions. Hill v. Ford Motor Co., 324 F. Supp. 2d 1028, 1034 (E.D. Mo. 2004)
(citing Greenwood v. Ross, 778 F.2d 448, 451 (8th Cir. 1985)). “These exceptions
are similar: an unnamed party will not be dismissed if he or she had adequate
notice of the charge and opportunity to participate in conciliation proceedings
aimed at voluntary compliance.” Id.
At this early stage of the action, the slim evidentiary record does not
indicate whether Smart had actual notice of the charge or the opportunity to
participate in conciliation. “This is a question better suited for review . . . in
connection with a summary judgment motion and a complete evidentiary record.”
Messmer v. Kindred Hosp. St. Louis, No. 4:08CV749 CEJ, 2008 WL 4948451, at
*3 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 10, 2008) (quoting Hill, 324 F. Supp. 2d at 1034). I will
therefore deny the motion to dismiss.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendants’ motion to sever or in the
alternative for separate trials [#7] is denied without prejudice.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant’s motion to dismiss claims
brought by Gail Edwards against Dominic Smart [#9] is denied.
This case is set for a Rule 16 Scheduling Conference by separate order.
CATHERINE D. PERRY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 15th day of November, 2012.
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