University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Lemons v. Pattonville-Bridgeton Fire Protection District EE-MO-0099
Docket / Court 4:03-CV-975 ERW ( E.D. Mo. )
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Equal Employment
Special Collection IWPR/Wage Project Consent Decree Study
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On July 18, 2003, a black firefighter filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. ("Title VII"), the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §12101, et seq., and various state laws in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against Pattonville- ... read more >
On July 18, 2003, a black firefighter filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. ("Title VII"), the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §12101, et seq., and various state laws in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against Pattonville-Bridgeton Fire Protection. The plaintiff sought injunctive and compensatory damages, alleging that the defendant had violated Title VII by discriminating against him on the basis of his race, in retaliation for attempting to file a workers' compensation claim and a charge of discrimination, and had violated the ADA by discriminating on the basis of his disability, which is never explicitly mentioned.

The complaint alleges that the Pattonville-Bridgeton Fire Protection discriminated on the basis of race and disability by: (1) subjecting him to unwanted and unwarranted racial epithets, remarks and comments; (2) vandalizing his car with the word "nigger" scratched in the driver's door; (3) causing severe emotional and mental distress; (4) retaliating for being injured on the job and attempting to file a workers' compensation claim; and (5) retaliating for filing a charge of discrimination.

The plaintiff asked the court to award compensatory damages by providing appropriate back pay, attorney fees, liquidated damages as a result of the violation of Title VII, and benefits of his reinstated position. In addition, the plaintiff alleged that the International Association of Fire Fighters ("IAFF") breached its contract by not providing adequate representation and support during the dispute with defendant employer. The plaintiff asked the court to award compensatory damages and injunctive relief by ordering IAFF to accommodate plaintiff and make him whole for any and all losses or damages suffered as a result of IAFF's unlawful employment practices.

The United States of America ("U.S.A.") sought to intervene as plaintiffs on June 2, 2004. In the Complaint in Intervention, the U.S.A. sought relief under Title VII for race discrimination, asking the court to enjoin the Pattonville-Bridgeton Fire Protection to provide sufficient remedial relief and adopt a racial harassment policy, and award compensatory damages to the plaintiff On August 16, 2005, the Eastern District of Missouri (Judge E. Richard Webber) entered a consent decree that: (1) enjoined Pattonville-Bridgeton Fire Protection from violating Title VII on the basis of race; (2) enjoined Pattonville-Bridgeton Fire Protection from retaliating against any person that has engaged in practices protected under Title VII; (3) ordered Pattonville-Bridgeton Fire Protection to amend its written policies and procedures that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race; (4) ordered Pattonville-Bridgeton Fire Protection to provide live mandatory training regarding Title VII's prohibition against discrimination based on race; (5) ordered Pattonville-Bridgeton Fire Protection to pay the plaintiff $55,000.00; and (6) ordered Pattonville-Bridgeton Fire Protection to reinstate the plaintiff to his position as a firefighter.

The decree has since been dissolved and the action had been dismissed without further order of the court.

Erin Forman - 10/21/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Defendant-type
Fire
Discrimination-area
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Pattonville-Bridgeton Fire Protection
Plaintiff Description Terrance K. Lemons, a black firefighter
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2005 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2005
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
03-CV-975 ERW (E.D. Mo.) 08/30/2005
EE-MO-0099-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint in Intervention 07/18/2003
EE-MO-0099-0001.pdf | Detail
First Amended Complaint 12/04/2003
EE-MO-0099-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree 08/15/2005
EE-MO-0099-0002.pdf | Detail
Judges Webber, E. Richard (E.D. Mo.)
EE-MO-0099-0002 | EE-MO-0099-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Hartnett, Jeffrey E. (Missouri)
EE-MO-0099-9000
Martin, Lolita (District of Columbia)
EE-MO-0099-0001
Niles, Sara Lewenberg (District of Columbia)
EE-MO-0099-9000
Schenk, Claire M. (Missouri)
EE-MO-0099-9000
Shalowitz, Howard A. (Missouri)
EE-MO-0099-0003 | EE-MO-0099-9000
Toomey, Kathleen (District of Columbia)
EE-MO-0099-9000
Wasserman, Carl D (District of Columbia)
EE-MO-0099-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Kimmey, James R. III (Missouri)
EE-MO-0099-9000
Mooney, Timothy C. Jr. (Missouri)
EE-MO-0099-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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