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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Atwell v. Denver Health and Hospital Authority EE-CO-0062
Docket / Court 06-cv-02262-JLK ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On February 13, 2007, six former and two current employees brought this case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, asserting federal and state employment discrimination and related civil rights claims against Denver Health and Hospital Authority and various Denver Healthy ... read more >
On February 13, 2007, six former and two current employees brought this case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, asserting federal and state employment discrimination and related civil rights claims against Denver Health and Hospital Authority and various Denver Healthy officials and management level employees. Each claim alleged one or more adverse employment actions, including being passed over for rehiring, being supervised by less qualified individuals, being moved to less desirable office space or positions, or being disciplined unfairly, based on either race or ethnicity or in retaliation for complaining about discriminatory practices.

Plaintiffs in this case brought their claims in two separate class actions. The first was an individualized action by Renee Atwell, filed in November 2006 but amended in February 2007 to add three plaintiffs. The second claim (Gomez et al v. Gabow et al) was filed in state court during the pendency of defendants' Motions to Dismiss the Atwell case (the first claim) by four members of Atwell's class. This case was reassigned and consolidated with Atwell.

The plaintiffs' claims fell into two general categories - (1) individual employment discrimination claims for disparate treatment and retaliation against Denver Health under Title VII and Colorado State law analogs (asserted by Atwell plaintiffs only); and (2) sweeping civil rights claims against Denver Health and various Denver Health officials in their official and individual capacity for violating their rights to equal benefit of the laws secured by § 1981 and for depriving them of their rights secured by §§ 1981, 1983, and 1988, in violation of § 1983.

The district court denied the plaintiffs' motion to certify a class action for failure to meet Rule 23(a)'s requirements - numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy of representation. Shortly after, the district court dismissed the majority of plaintiffs' claims under FRCP 12(b)(6). Plaintiffs appealed to the Tenth Circuit, but solely on the district court's dismissal of their § 1981 claims. The Tenth Circuit found that the majority of the § 1981 claims failed to meet the pleading standards set forth in Iqbal v. Twombly. Further, the Court dismissed an individualized plaintiff's § 1981 retaliation claim, concluding that under this court's precedent, the claim was actionable only under Title VII. A few weeks after this decision, the Supreme Court held that § 1981 does encompass retaliation claims (128 S.Ct. 1951, 1954-55 (2008)), but the Tenth Circuit did not need to consider the applicability of this holding because the dismissal was found to be nonetheless proper with no abuse of discretion in the district court. The judgment of the district court was affirmed.

On February 7, 2009, the Plaintiff filed a Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice, which disposed of any remaining claims.

Christina Bonanni - 06/08/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discipline
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Hiring
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Promotion
Seniority
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Pattern or Practice
Retaliation
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Race
Race, unspecified
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
42 U.S.C. § 1983
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Denver Health and Hospital Authority
Plaintiff Description Individualized plaintiffs, both current and former working at the Denver Health and Hospital Authority.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
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)
1:06-cv-02262-CMA-MJW (D. Colo.) 03/03/2009
EE-CO-0062-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT [CLASS ACTION] 02/13/2007
EE-CO-0062-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE CIVIL ACTION NO. 07-cv-2063-MSK INTO CIVIL ACTION NO. 06-cv-2262 10/10/2007 (2007 WL 2993854 / 2007 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 79215) (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0062-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER 11/13/2007
EE-CO-0062-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION 02/28/2008 (248 F.R.D. 588) (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0062-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER ON MOTIONS TO DISMISS AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE 03/31/2008 (2008 WL 906105 / 2008 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 31861) (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0062-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT 04/14/2008
EE-CO-0062-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
JUDGMENT PURSUANT TO F.R.C.P. 54(b) 04/21/2008 (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0062-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT PURSUANT TO F.R.CIV.P. 54(b) 01/15/2009 (2009 WL 112492 / 2009 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 5322) (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0062-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER AND JUDGMENT 02/09/2009 (311 Fed.Appx. 122)
EE-CO-0062-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
STIPULATION FOR DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE 02/17/2009
EE-CO-0062-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Arguello, Christine M. (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0062-0008 | EE-CO-0062-9000
Briscoe, Mary Beck (Tenth Circuit)
EE-CO-0062-0004
Ebel, David M. (Tenth Circuit)
EE-CO-0062-0004
Kane, John L. Jr. (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0062-0003 | EE-CO-0062-0005 | EE-CO-0062-0006 | EE-CO-0062-0007
Kelly, Paul Joseph Jr. (Tenth Circuit)
EE-CO-0062-0010
Lucero, Carlos F. (Tenth Circuit)
EE-CO-0062-0004
O'Brien, Terrence L. (Tenth Circuit)
EE-CO-0062-0010
Porfilio, John Carbone (Tenth Circuit, D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0062-0010
Watanabe, Michael J. (D. Colo.) [Magistrate]
EE-CO-0062-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Hall, Gregory A. (Colorado)
EE-CO-0062-0001 | EE-CO-0062-9000
Sulton, Anne T. (Washington)
EE-CO-0062-0001 | EE-CO-0062-0009 | EE-CO-0062-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Johnson, Brent T. (Colorado)
EE-CO-0062-0002 | EE-CO-0062-0009 | EE-CO-0062-9000
Olsen, Theodore Alan (Colorado)
EE-CO-0062-0002 | EE-CO-0062-9000
Volin, Andrew W. (Colorado)
EE-CO-0062-0002 | EE-CO-0062-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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