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Case Name Erickson v. Bartell Drug Company EE-WA-0116
Docket / Court 2:00-cv-01213 ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On July 19, 2000, a female employee of Bartell Drug Company (“Bartell”) filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and specifically as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k) (“PDA”), against Bartell in the United ... read more >
On July 19, 2000, a female employee of Bartell Drug Company (“Bartell”) filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and specifically as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k) (“PDA”), against Bartell in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.

The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for both declaratory and injunctive relief, charging Bartell with singling out female employees for disadvantageous treatment by excluding contraceptives from an employee benefit plan while including benefits for other preventive medical services, including other preventive prescription medications and devices. According to the plaintiff’s amended complaint, filed on September 6, 2000, the failure to provide coverage for prescription contraception treated medication needed for a pregnancy-related condition less favorably than medication needed for other medical conditions; it therefore constituted facial sex discrimination.

On September 15, 2000, the plaintiffs filed motion to certify a class, which was granted on December 14, 2000. The class consisted of all female employees of Bartell who at any time after December 29, 1997 were enrolled in Bartell’s prescription benefit plan for non-union employees while using prescription contraceptives.

On March 23, 2001, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on their disparate impact claims. On June 12, 2001, the court (Judge Robert S. Lasnik) granted plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on those claims. Erickson v. Bartell Drug Co., 114 F. Supp. 2d 1256 (W.D. Wash. 2001).

On December 3, 2002, the plaintiffs and the defendant filed a joint motion for approval of a class action settlement. The same day, the court (Judge Lasnik) granted the motion and approved the settlement. The settlement required Bartell to provide prescription contraceptive coverage to its non-union employees and considerable compensation to the plaintiff class. According to the proposed settlement filed with the court, Bartell agreed to cover all relevant services and FDA-approved methods of prescription contraception to the same extent that it covers other drugs, devices and preventive care. For class members employed at the time, Bartell agreed to either provide future contraception-related services, with no co-payments, until December 31, 2006, or pay the class member $800 for incurred out-of-pocket costs. For class members no longer employed, Bartell agreed to pay up to $800 for incurred out-of-pocket expense, with a minimum payment of $100. Additionally, Bartell paid the class representative $7,246 in damages and $180,000 for attorneys fees.

On March 6, 2003, the court (Judge Lasnik) issued a final order granting the joint motion to dismiss with prejudice, terminating the case.

Nathaniel Koslof - 04/24/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Discrimination-area
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Bartell Drug Company
Plaintiff Description All female employees of Bartell who at any time after Dec. 29, 1997 were enrolled in Bartell’s prescription benefit plan for non-union employees while using prescription contraceptives.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Private Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2002
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)
2:00-cv-01213-RSL (W.D. Wash.) 03/06/2003
EE-WA-0116-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Amended Complaint 09/06/2000
EE-WA-0116-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment 06/12/2001 (141 F.Supp.2d 1266) (W.D. Wash.)
EE-WA-0116-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order Granting Class Settlement 12/03/2002 (W.D. Wash.)
EE-WA-0116-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Proposed Settlement 03/03/2003
EE-WA-0116-0003 PDF | Detail
Judges Lasnik, Robert S. (W.D. Wash.)
EE-WA-0116-0002 | EE-WA-0116-0004 | EE-WA-0116-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gartner, Eva C. (New York)
EE-WA-0116-0001 | EE-WA-0116-9000
Lee, Donna (New York)
EE-WA-0116-9000
Riley, Roberta N. (Washington)
EE-WA-0116-0001 | EE-WA-0116-0002 | EE-WA-0116-9000
Sarko, Lynn Lincoln (Washington)
EE-WA-0116-0001 | EE-WA-0116-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dickens, James Ralph (Washington)
EE-WA-0116-0002 | EE-WA-0116-0003 | EE-WA-0116-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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