University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Norris v. Metro-North Commuter Railroad Co. EE-NY-0212
Docket / Court 1:95-CV-08594 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On October 10, 1995, four African-American former employees of Metro-North Commuter filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act OF 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et. seq., against Metro-North Commuter in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs, ... read more >
On October 10, 1995, four African-American former employees of Metro-North Commuter filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act OF 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et. seq., against Metro-North Commuter in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for both declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that Metro-North Commuter practiced discrimination based on race. The plaintiffs claimed discriminatory promotion denials, excessive discipline, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge.

On November 18, 1996, the plaintiffs filed a motion to certify a class. The court (Judge Rakoff) denied the motion on August 11, 1997. The plaintiffs sought to represent all African-American present and former employees of Metro-North in either Union or lower to middle-level management positions. The court (Judge Jed S. Rakoff) held that the plaintiffs had failed to establish the commonality and typicality requirements of class certification. Norris v. Metro-North Commuter 175 F.R.D. 46 (N.Y. New York. 1997).

On September 15, 1997, defendant filed motion for summary judgment and to dismiss the case. On January 16, 1998, the court (Judge Rakoff) granted defendant's motion for summary judgment with the exception of the claims of a specific plaintiff. On May 12, 1998, the court (Judge Rakoff) dismissed the case of the final plaintiff, and pursuant to this judgment, dismiss the case in its entirety two days later on May 14, closing the case.

On June 12, 1998, the plaintiffs filed their appeal. According to the PACER docket, on October 26, 1999, the USCA reversed the District Court's judgment to the extent that it denied class certification, thus reopening the case. On September 28, 2000, the court (Judge Rakoff) once again denied plaintiffs' motion for class certification and on September 29, 2000, dismissed the case with prejudice.

On November 1, 2000, the plaintiffs filed another appeal. According to the PACER docket, on November 6, 2001, the USCA vacated the District Court's judgment and again remanded the case. On November 20, 2001, the case was again reopened.

According to the PACER docket, on July 17, 2002, the court (Judge Rakoff) issued an order preliminarily approving a proposed settlement. On December 6, 2002, the court (Judge Rakoff) issued final judgment and order of dismissal, closing the case. Due to lack of links on the PACER docket, and no further information available on Westlaw, Lexis or general search engines, the details of the settlement remain uncertain.

Kunyi Zhang - 08/31/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Defendant-type
Transportation
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Metro-North Commuter
Plaintiff Description All African-American present and former employees of Metro-North in either Union or lower to middle-level management positions.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
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 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)
1:95-cv-08594 (S.D.N.Y.) 06/26/2006
EE-NY-0212-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion to Certify Class 08/08/1997 (175 F.R.D. 46) (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0212-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order Granting Motion for Summary Judgment 01/16/1998 (1998 WL 17742) (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0212-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Memorandum and Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification 09/28/2000 (197 F.R.D. 85) (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0212-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Rakoff, Jed Saul (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0212-0001 | EE-NY-0212-0002 | EE-NY-0212-0003 | EE-NY-0212-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fuchsberg, Alan L. (New York)
EE-NY-0212-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Rumeld, Myron D. (New York)
EE-NY-0212-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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