University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Bert v. AK Steel Corp. EE-OH-0096
Docket / Court 1:02-CV-467 ( S.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On January 19, 2005, the plaintiffs, African American men and women, filed a lawsuit pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e)-5(f), et seq. against AK Steel Corporation in United States District Court for the ... read more >
On January 19, 2005, the plaintiffs, African American men and women, filed a lawsuit pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e)-5(f), et seq. against AK Steel Corporation in United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought class certification, a permanent injunction against AK Steel, an order requiring the initiation and implementation of programs that provide equal employment opportunities for African-American employees and applicants, will remedy the effects of AK Steel's past and present unlawful employment policies, practices and procedures, and will eliminate the continuing effects of the discriminatory and retaliatory practices described above, will create a task force to ensure fairness and equality, and will restore the jobs the Plaintiffs would have received if not for AK's policies.

Plaintiffs also sought a readjustment of wage rates and benefits, back pay, front pay, lost benefits, restoration of seniority, damages, lost benefits, preferential rights to jobs, nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages to one individual, and an award of litigation costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees. Specifically, the plaintiff contended that AK Steel has discriminated against them by denying them the right to work in a racially integrated environment free from discrimination and the enjoyment of those benefits, privileges, and terms.

On October 12, 2007, the court dismissed the disparate treatment claims of three individual plaintiffs and granted summary judgment. On November 20, 2007, the Court granted the Defendant's Motion to dismiss the claims of two addditional individual plaintiffs.

On April 9, 2008, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division (Judge Sandra Beckwith) granted Defendant's motion for summary judgment on the disparate treatment claims of four other individual plaintiffs and dismissed those claims with prejudice.

Six plaintiffs remained with viable claims.

On July 2, 2008 the parties submitted a joint motion for preliminary approval of a class action settlement.

On October 23, 2008, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division (Judge Beckwih) approved the settlement agreement. The terms of the settlement identified two classes: 1) All unsuccessful African-American applicants who took AK Steel's Screening Employment Test in Middletown after September 12, 2001; and 2) All unsuccessful African-American applicants who took AK Steel's Screening Employment Test in Ashland after August 12, 2001. The plaintiff class was awarded $3,400 per member, which totaled $469,200 for all 138 members. Additionally, each class representative was awarded $10,000 for their contributions to the class. Finally, the agreement called for the defendant to pay $750,000 in attorney fees totaling their payment to $1,279,200.

David Miller - 09/11/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Hiring
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) AK Steel Corporation
Plaintiff Description all African-American persons who applied and were rejected for employment, or were deterred or discouraged from applying for employment with AK Steel at any time since June 26, 1998
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 2008
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)
1:02-cv-00467-SSB-TSH (S.D. Ohio) 06/24/2009
EE-OH-0096-9001 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Second Amended Complaint 01/19/2005
EE-OH-0096-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 04/24/2006 (2006 WL 1071872) (S.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0009 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order [Denying Motion for Summary Judgment] 05/11/2006 (2006 WL 1308215) (S.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0010 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order [Certifying Two Subclasses] 01/19/2007 (2007 WL 184746) (S.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0011 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order 10/12/2007 (2007 WL 3005910) (S.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0004 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order 11/20/2007 (S.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 04/09/2008 (2008 WL 1696945) (S.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0003 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order [Granting Motion for Summary Judgment] 05/07/2008 (2008 WL 2002848) (S.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0012 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Settlement Agreement 07/02/2008
EE-OH-0096-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement 07/02/2008
EE-OH-0096-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Class Action Settlement 10/23/2008 (2008 WL 4693747) (S.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0008 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Beckwith, Sandra Shank (S.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0003 | EE-OH-0096-0004 | EE-OH-0096-0005 | EE-OH-0096-0008 | EE-OH-0096-0009 | EE-OH-0096-0010 | EE-OH-0096-0011 | EE-OH-0096-0012 | EE-OH-0096-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Childs, Robert F. Jr. (Alabama)
EE-OH-0096-0006 | EE-OH-0096-0007 | EE-OH-0096-9001
Donahue, Susan Gale (Alabama)
EE-OH-0096-0001 | EE-OH-0096-0006 | EE-OH-0096-0007 | EE-OH-0096-9001
Frederick, Barry (Alabama)
EE-OH-0096-9001
Johnson, Herman N. Jr. (Alabama)
EE-OH-0096-0006 | EE-OH-0096-0007 | EE-OH-0096-9001
Kammer, David (Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0001 | EE-OH-0096-9001
Lowell, Allison (Alabama)
EE-OH-0096-9001
Morris, Grant E. (District of Columbia)
EE-OH-0096-0007 | EE-OH-0096-9001
Sanford, David W. (District of Columbia)
EE-OH-0096-0001 | EE-OH-0096-0006 | EE-OH-0096-0007 | EE-OH-0096-9001
Tobias, Paul Henry (Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0001 | EE-OH-0096-0007 | EE-OH-0096-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Barty, Lawrence (Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0006 | EE-OH-0096-0007 | EE-OH-0096-9001
Horn, David C. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0006 | EE-OH-0096-9001
Pryor, Patricia (Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0006 | EE-OH-0096-0007 | EE-OH-0096-9001
Rogers, Gregory Parker (Ohio)
EE-OH-0096-0006 | EE-OH-0096-0007 | EE-OH-0096-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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