University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Brown v. Nucor Corporation EE-SC-0050
Docket / Court 2:04-cv-22005-CWH ( D.S.C. )
State/Territory South Carolina
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On December 8, 2003, thirteen African-Americans filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas against Nucor Corporation. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs alleged that Nucor discriminated against them on the basis of race, in violation of ... read more >
On December 8, 2003, thirteen African-Americans filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas against Nucor Corporation. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs alleged that Nucor discriminated against them on the basis of race, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., and Section One of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. 1981a. The plaintiffs sought injunctive relief, equitable remedies, back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and attorney's fees.

On August 24, 2004, the District Court (Judge Harry F. Barnes) severed the plaintiffs' claims into four cases and transferred each to the judicial district in which the unlawful employment practices allegedly occurred. Accordingly, this case was transferred to the District of South Carolina.

For the next nine years, the parties engaged in a protracted legal battle concerning class certification. Initially, on August 7, 2007, the District Court (Judge C. Weston Houck) denied plaintiffs' motion for class certification. But exactly two years later, this ruling was overturned by the Fourth Circuit Court (before Judge M. Blane Michael, Judge Roger L. Gregory, and Judge G. Steven Agee). Brown v. Nucor Corp., 576 F.3d 149 (4th Cir. 2009). The District Court subsequently granted certification on February 16, 2011, although it modified the class composition on April 27, 2011, upon the defendants' request. The Court defined the class as "All African-Americans who are . . . or were employed by Nucor Corporation . . . at any time between December 2, 1999 . . . in the beam mill, hot mill, cold mill, melting, maintenance, and shipping departments, and who may have been discriminated against because of Nucor's challenged practices."

The battle continued. After the Supreme Court's decision in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes in June 2011, the defendants' filed a motion to decertify the class. On September 11, 2012, the Court granted the motion with respect to the plaintiffs' disparate treatment and impact claims and denied the motion with respect to the plaintiffs' hostile work environment claim. Both parties filed subsequent motions related to class certification, but the Court denied them on April 5, 2013 and September 27, 2013.

The case is ongoing as of January 30, 2014.

Jordan Rossen - 01/30/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Discipline
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Hiring
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Promotion
Training
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Retaliation
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) Nucor Corporation
Plaintiff Description African-American former or current employees of Nucor Corporation.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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)
1:03-cv-01180-HFB (W.D. Ark.) 08/20/2004
EE-SC-0050-9002.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
08-1247 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 08/21/2009
EE-SC-0050-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
2:04-cv-22005 (D.S.C.) 11/05/2013
EE-SC-0050-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Third Amended Complaint 01/28/2005
EE-SC-0050-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opening Brief for Plaintiffs-Appellants 05/13/2008 (2008 WL 2307453)
EE-SC-0050-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Brief of Appellees Nucor Corporation and Nucor Steel Berkeley 07/03/2008 (2008 WL 2724978)
EE-SC-0050-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Reply Brief for Plaintiffs-Appellants 07/28/2008 (2008 WL 3460087)
EE-SC-0050-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion 08/07/2009 (576 F.3d 149)
EE-SC-0050-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Agee, G. Steven (Fourth Circuit)
EE-SC-0050-0004
Barnes, Harry F. (W.D. Ark.)
EE-SC-0050-9002
Gregory, Roger L. (Fourth Circuit)
EE-SC-0050-0004
Houck, Charles Weston (D.S.C.)
EE-SC-0050-9000 | EE-SC-0050-9001
Michael, M. Blane (Fourth Circuit)
EE-SC-0050-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers DeGweck, Benjamin John (Alabama)
EE-SC-0050-0005 | EE-SC-0050-9001 | EE-SC-0050-9002
Derfner, Armand Georges (South Carolina)
EE-SC-0050-0001 | EE-SC-0050-0003 | EE-SC-0050-9000 | EE-SC-0050-9001
Donahue, Susan Gale (Alabama)
EE-SC-0050-0001 | EE-SC-0050-0003 | EE-SC-0050-9001
Kaplan, Philip E. (Arkansas)
EE-SC-0050-9002
McClain, Ray Pratt (South Carolina)
EE-SC-0050-0005 | EE-SC-0050-9001
Morris, Grant E. (District of Columbia)
EE-SC-0050-0005
Polkey, Aaron Tobias (South Carolina)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Sanford, David W. (District of Columbia)
EE-SC-0050-9002
Wiggins, Ann K. (Alabama)
EE-SC-0050-0001 | EE-SC-0050-0003 | EE-SC-0050-0005 | EE-SC-0050-9001 | EE-SC-0050-9002
Wiggins, Robert L Jr. (Alabama)
EE-SC-0050-0001 | EE-SC-0050-0003 | EE-SC-0050-0005 | EE-SC-0050-9000 | EE-SC-0050-9001
Wilborn, Peter (South Carolina)
EE-SC-0050-0001 | EE-SC-0050-0003 | EE-SC-0050-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Alaniz, Richard D. (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Brockman, Diana M. (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Cobb, David Starr (South Carolina)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Farris, Cary A. (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-0002 | EE-SC-0050-9000 | EE-SC-0050-9001
Gatlin, James Shannon (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Getchell, Earle Duncan Jr. (Virginia)
EE-SC-0050-0002 | EE-SC-0050-9000
Heilbrun, Micah Seth (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Jensen, Gail A. (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Linker, John K. (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Marshall, Denzil Price Jr. (Alaska)
EE-SC-0050-9002
Mayes, Jeffrey S. (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Minces, David M. (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Mosley, David Brandon (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Parreno, O. Mishell (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Patterson, Brian G. (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Patton, Marcus Roland (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-0002 | EE-SC-0050-9001
Ralephata, Nosizi (South Carolina)
EE-SC-0050-0002 | EE-SC-0050-9000 | EE-SC-0050-9001
Schraeder, Terry E. (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Sine, Erin Michelle (Virginia)
EE-SC-0050-0002 | EE-SC-0050-9000
Stith, Melanie G. (South Carolina)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Villacorta, Adrian V. (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Watts, Sidney C. (Texas)
EE-SC-0050-9001
Wilkerson, John Smith III (South Carolina)
EE-SC-0050-0002 | EE-SC-0050-9000 | EE-SC-0050-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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