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Case Name Ramirez v. DeCoster EE-ME-0003
Docket / Court 98-CV-186 ( D. Me. )
State/Territory Maine
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On May 18, 1998, the Republic of Mexico and several individual employees filed a lawsuit against the DeCoster egg farm under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1801 et seq., in the United States District Court for the District of Maine. The ... read more >
On May 18, 1998, the Republic of Mexico and several individual employees filed a lawsuit against the DeCoster egg farm under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1801 et seq., in the United States District Court for the District of Maine. The plaintiffs sought damages for breach of contract and fraudulent inducement. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for compensatory and punitive damages, alleging racial discrimination. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that DeCoster had purposefully recruited Mexican laborers under false pretenses, prompted them to travel a great distance to Maine, and then discriminated against them on-site in terms and conditions of employment and housing.

On August 9, 1999 the court (Judge D. Brock Hornby) ruled that the Republic of Mexico did not have standing in court. Ramirez v. DeCoster, 59 F. Supp. 2d 120, (D. Me. 1999). On March 31, 2000, the court (Judge Hornby) denied the plaintiff's motion for class certification. The court also granted DeCoster's motion for summary judgment on all claims except those for racial discrimination in housing and employment discrimination. Ramirez v. DeCoster, 194 F.R.D. 348 (D. Me. 2000). However, at the time of this class certification decision a settlement agreement was already underway between the parties. As a result, on July 7, 2000, the plaintiffs brought a motion to enforce the settlement agreement.

On October 15, 2001, the court (Judge Hornby) found that there was an enforceable agreement as of February 21, 2000, and also certified a settlement class for all claims in the amended complaint. In the settlement agreement the defendants agreed to pay the plaintiffs a sum of $6 million and to consider rehiring certain former employees. Ramirez v. DeCoster, 203 F.R.D. 30 (D. Me. 2001). The case is closed.

Emily Kuznick - 07/25/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Content of Injunction
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Reinstatement
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
National Origin/Ethnicity
Other
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) DeCoster
Plaintiff Description Mexican and Hispanic employees of DeCoster egg farms alleging racial discrimination
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 Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2006
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)
2:98-cv-00186-DBH (D. Me.) 02/12/2007
EE-ME-0003-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order on defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff Estados Unidos Mexicanos 08/09/1999 (59 F.Supp.2d 120) (D. Me.)
EE-ME-0003-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order on Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification and Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment 03/31/2000 (194 F.R.D. 348) (D. Me.)
EE-ME-0003-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order on Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration 05/11/2000 (2000 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 14546) (D. Me.)
EE-ME-0003-0009 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion 09/18/2000 (2000 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 21946) (D. Me.)
EE-ME-0003-0008 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion 06/01/2001 (142 F.Supp.2d 104) (D. Me.)
EE-ME-0003-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 10/15/2001 (203 F.R.D. 30) (D. Me.)
EE-ME-0003-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Cohen, David Michael (D. Me.) [Magistrate]
EE-ME-0003-0008
Hornby, David Brock (D. Me.) [Magistrate]
EE-ME-0003-0004 | EE-ME-0003-0005 | EE-ME-0003-0006 | EE-ME-0003-0007 | EE-ME-0003-0009 | EE-ME-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Friedman, Harold J (Maine)
EE-ME-0003-0004 | EE-ME-0003-0005 | EE-ME-0003-0006 | EE-ME-0003-0007 | EE-ME-0003-0008 | EE-ME-0003-9000
Leavitt, Laurence H. (Maine)
EE-ME-0003-9000
Morris, Sally A (Maine)
EE-ME-0003-0008 | EE-ME-0003-9000
Wolf, Karen Frink (Maine)
EE-ME-0003-0004 | EE-ME-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Knowles, William C. (Maine)
EE-ME-0003-0008 | EE-ME-0003-9000
McGivney, John J. (Massachusetts)
EE-ME-0003-0004 | EE-ME-0003-0005 | EE-ME-0003-0006 | EE-ME-0003-0008 | EE-ME-0003-0009 | EE-ME-0003-9000
O'Brien, Timothy J. (Maine)
EE-ME-0003-0004 | EE-ME-0003-0005 | EE-ME-0003-0006 | EE-ME-0003-0007 | EE-ME-0003-0008 | EE-ME-0003-0009 | EE-ME-0003-9000
Schreiber, Jeffrey A. (Massachusetts)
EE-ME-0003-0004 | EE-ME-0003-0005 | EE-ME-0003-0006 | EE-ME-0003-0008 | EE-ME-0003-0009 | EE-ME-0003-9000
Somers, Thomas H. (Maine)
EE-ME-0003-0004 | EE-ME-0003-0005 | EE-ME-0003-0006 | EE-ME-0003-0007 | EE-ME-0003-0008 | EE-ME-0003-0009 | EE-ME-0003-9000
Stackpole, Kerin E. (Vermont)
EE-ME-0003-0004 | EE-ME-0003-0005 | EE-ME-0003-0006 | EE-ME-0003-0007 | EE-ME-0003-0009 | EE-ME-0003-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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