University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Bremiller v. Cleveland Psychiatric Institute EE-OH-0099
Docket / Court 1:94-CV-1151 ( N.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On June 3, 1994, an individual employee filed a lawsuit against her employer, the Cleveland Psychiatric Institute ("CPI"), as well its director, CEO, and the alleged co-conspirators, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. She alleged violations of Title VII of the ... read more >
On June 3, 1994, an individual employee filed a lawsuit against her employer, the Cleveland Psychiatric Institute ("CPI"), as well its director, CEO, and the alleged co-conspirators, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. She alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.; 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985; of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution; and of Ohio's anti-discrimination statute, O.R.C. § 4112. The plaintiff, who was represented by private counsel, alleged sex discrimination, a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, retaliatory discharge, defamation, tortious interference with contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery, and false imprisonment. She asked the court for damages and injunctive relief. Specifically, the plaintiff contended that she and other female staff members were sexually harassed by male coworkers throughout the entirety of her employment, in the form of threats, physical intimidation, sexual jokes, and unwanted touching and groping. She claimed that the harassment was reported, yet CPI took no action, and further alleged that CPI never addressed the issue of sexual harassment, not even during equal employment opportunity ("EEO") orientation. The plaintiff was terminated after a reported incident in which she was harassed at gunpoint, and she claimed that it was easier to fire her than the perpetrator because she was a non-union employee. The EEOC gave the plaintiff the right to sue.

On January 12, 1995, the court (Judge Oliver) granted in part and denied in part the defendants' motion to dismiss the claims. The court allowed the suit to proceed with respect to damages only against the individual co-workers, finding that CPI, as a state-run agency, was immune from suit under the 11th Amendment. The court denied the motion to dismiss as to the plaintiff's claims against CPI under Title VII, as well as the plaintiff's claims against individual defendants under U.S.C. § 1983 and 1985. This same day the court granted class certification to all the women subject to sexual harassment and whose claims were ignored by CPI between Feburary 4, 1993, and the date of the trial.

On February 29, 2000, the court (Judge Oliver) denied the defendants' motion to decertify the class and granted in part and denied in part the defendants' motion for summary judgment, holding that that the plaintiff's sexual harassment and equal protection claims should be tried as a class, but the retaliation claim must be tried as an individual.

On December 18, 2000, the court (Judge Oliver) approved a settlement agreement. The named plaintiff received $1,251,240 on back pay and other damages, and other class members were awarded damages as well, adding up to $2,630,628. Additionally, the defendants agreed to pay the plaintiffs' attorney fees, totaling over $600,000.

Emily Kuznick - 04/10/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Race, unspecified
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
State law
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Cleveland Psychiatric Institute
Plaintiff Description Women employees at the Cleveland Psychiatric Institute with claims of sexual harassment and discrimination which accrued between February 4, 1993 and December 1, 1993.
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
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2000
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)
1:94-cv-01151-SO (N.D. Ohio) 03/27/2002
EE-OH-0099-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
Opinion - Class Certification 01/12/1995 (879 F.Supp. 782) (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Opinion and Order 08/25/1995 (898 F.Supp. 572) (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 02/29/2000 (195 F.R.D. 1) (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Oliver, Solomon Jr. (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0001 | EE-OH-0099-0002 | EE-OH-0099-0004 | EE-OH-0099-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bloom, Steven E. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-9000
Crist, Karen Marie (Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0001 | EE-OH-0099-0002 | EE-OH-0099-0004 | EE-OH-0099-9000
Schulman, Jack M. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0004 | EE-OH-0099-9000 | EE-OH-0099-9000
Schulman, Howard A. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0001 | EE-OH-0099-0002 | EE-OH-0099-0004 | EE-OH-0099-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Anderson, Carl E. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0001 | EE-OH-0099-0004 | EE-OH-0099-9000
Foley, Mary Beth (Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0001 | EE-OH-0099-0002 | EE-OH-0099-9000
Friedell, Katherine Anderson (Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0004 | EE-OH-0099-9000
Greenberg, Jonathan D. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0004 | EE-OH-0099-9000
Griffin, Robert L. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0001 | EE-OH-0099-0002 | EE-OH-0099-9000
Noall, Nancy A. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0001 | EE-OH-0099-0004 | EE-OH-0099-9000
Turner, Franzetta D. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0001 | EE-OH-0099-0002 | EE-OH-0099-9000
Weisberg, Patricia F. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0099-0004 | EE-OH-0099-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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