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Case Name Grayson v. K Mart Corp. EE-GA-0108
Docket / Court 1:92-cv-00141-JEC ( N.D. Ga. )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On January 17, 1992, eleven K Mart store managers filed a lawsuit against K Mart in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs alleged that K Mart had violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA" ... read more >
On January 17, 1992, eleven K Mart store managers filed a lawsuit against K Mart in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs alleged that K Mart had violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. 621, et seq. by demoting or terminating them on the basis of age. The plaintiffs also alleged separate claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress under the respective laws in their home states. Although the complaint was drafted as if the lawsuit were a class action, the lawsuit was not brought as a class action.

Ten months later, on October 29, 1992, a group of five K Mart store managers filed a second lawsuit, Helton v. K Mart Corp., also in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The plaintiffs in Helton made the same allegations as the Grayson plaintiffs and were represented by the same counsel. On July 21, 1994, the District Court (Judge Marvin Shoob) granted plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend their complaint to allege an ADEA "class action" under 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), which allows other potential class members to "opt-in" as plaintiffs.

On February 22, 1994, in Grayson, the District Court (Judge Julie E. Carnes) entered an order granting defendant's motion to sever the claims of the plaintiffs on the grounds that the claims failed to satisfy the prerequisites of FRCP 20(a) and joining the cases would result in K Mart having to suffer "extreme prejudice". On August 23, 1994, the Court issued an order dismissing without prejudice the original severed actions, noting that the plaintiffs were members of the Helton class.

K Mart appealed Judge Shoob's Helton order that created the § 216(b) opt-in class as well as Judge Carnes's Grayson order that dismissed without prejudice the plaintiffs' actions. On July 20, 1994, the Eleventh Circuit Court (before Judge Gerald Tjoflat; Judge David Dyer; and Judge Leonard Garth of the Third Circuit, sitting by designation) dismissed K Mart's appeal of Judge Carnes's order, holding that the Court lacked appellate jurisdiction since the order was in effect a non-final transfer order. The Court also dismissed K Mart's appeal of Judge Shoob's order, holding that Judge Shoob's § 216(b) ruling was adequately supported by the plaintiffs' substantial allegations and evidence. K Mart petitioned for writ of certiorari, which the Supreme Court denied in a decision dated November 12, 1996: K Mart v. Helton, 519 U.S. 987 (1996).

On June 7, 1995, Judge Shoob granted the EEOC's motion to intervene in Helton. On September 25, 1997, the Court entered an order simultaneously dismissing Helton and directing that a new action be opened: EEOC v. Kmart, No. 1:97-CV-02930-MHS (N.D. GA). The case was settled on September 25, 1997, resulting in monetary damages to be allocated in a fair and equitable way by the Court among the claimants.

Jordan Rossen - 07/22/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Demotion
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Discrimination-basis
Age discrimination
EEOC-centric
EEOC intervened in private suit
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq.
Defendant(s) K Mart Corp.
Plaintiff Description Store managers in K Mart's Southern Region who were demoted or terminated by K Mart during the period from 1990 to 1992 as a result of alleged age-discrimination.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1997 - 2000
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)
1:92-cv-00141-JEC (N.D. Ga.) 05/03/2002
EE-GA-0108-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Trial Court Order Granting In Part and Denying In Part Defendant's Motions (for partial summary judgment, for severance of each plaintiff's case, for severance of the state and federal claims, and to strike) 02/22/1994 (849 F.Supp. 785) (N.D. Ga.)
EE-GA-0108-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Brief of Defendant/Appellant/Cross-Appellee (Appeal from Grayson v. K Mart Order of Dismissal Without Prejudice and from Helton v. K Mart Interlocutory Order) 02/14/1995 (1995 WL 17019968)
EE-GA-0108-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Brief of Plaintiffs/Appellees/Cross-Appellants (Appeal from Grayson v. K Mart Order of Dismissal Without Prejudice and from Helton v. K Mart Interlocutory Order) 03/01/1995 (1995 WL 17019967)
EE-GA-0108-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Reply Brief of Defendant/Appellant/Cross-Appelle (Appeal from Grayson v. K Mart Order of Dismissal Without Prejudice and from Helton v. K Mart Interlocutory Order) 03/01/1995 (1995 WL 17019966)
EE-GA-0108-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
11th Circuit Court Opinion 04/09/1996 (79 F.3d 1086)
EE-GA-0108-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit 07/18/1996 (1996 WL 33422123)
EE-GA-0108-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Respondents' Brief in Opposition To Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit) 08/12/1996 (1996 WL 33439252)
EE-GA-0108-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Supreme Court Decision Denying Kmart-Petitioner's Petition for Writ of Certiorari 11/12/1996 (519 U.S. 987)
EE-GA-0108-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Carnes, Julie E. (N.D. Ga., Eleventh Circuit)
EE-GA-0108-0006 | EE-GA-0108-9000
Dyer, David William (Fifth Circuit, S.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit)
EE-GA-0108-0007
Garth, Leonard I. (D.N.J., Third Circuit)
EE-GA-0108-0007
Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (Fifth Circuit, M.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit)
EE-GA-0108-0007
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dalton, James Joseph II (Massachusetts)
EE-GA-0108-9000
Ford, James L. Sr. (Georgia)
EE-GA-0108-0002 | EE-GA-0108-0005 | EE-GA-0108-9000
Hodges, Carl Hilliard (Georgia)
EE-GA-0108-9000
Klein, Daniel M. (Georgia)
EE-GA-0108-0002 | EE-GA-0108-0005 | EE-GA-0108-9000
Osborne, Thomas W. (District of Columbia)
EE-GA-0108-9000
Ventrell-Monsees, Cathy (District of Columbia)
EE-GA-0108-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Coil, James H. III (Georgia)
EE-GA-0108-0001 | EE-GA-0108-0003 | EE-GA-0108-0004 | EE-GA-0108-9000
Johnson, Walter E. (Georgia)
EE-GA-0108-0001 | EE-GA-0108-0003 | EE-GA-0108-9000
Kneisel, Edmund Moore (Georgia)
EE-GA-0108-0001 | EE-GA-0108-0003 | EE-GA-0108-0004 | EE-GA-0108-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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