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Case Name Kivilaan v. American Airlines EE-TN-0148
Docket / Court 3:04-cv-00814 ( M.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
This class action by female employees at American Airlines, Inc. was filed on September 10, 2004, in the U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought class certification as well as declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the ... read more >
This class action by female employees at American Airlines, Inc. was filed on September 10, 2004, in the U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought class certification as well as declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the defendant's health plan insurance policy discriminated against female employees by providing less complete coverage to women.

The class action complaint alleged that the American's failure to provide the plaintiffs with health insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives constituted unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex. Specifically, the complaint alleged that the defendant engaged in disparate treatment by excluding prescription contraceptives and related services from its employees benefit plan while covering other prescription medications, and that the defendant's practice of excluding prescription contraception from its health insurance plan, which were available for use only by women, resulted in disparate impact.

The requested relief included preliminary and permanent injunctions against the defendant from engaging in unlawful practices (including an injunction ordering the defendant to provide coverage for the full range of prescription contraceptive drugs and devices and coverage for contraceptive-related services); a judgment declaring that the unlawful practices violated Title VII (PDA); an order restraining the defendant from any retaliation against the plaintiff or any class member; and costs and disbursements (including reasonable attorneys' fees).

On July 6, 2009, the parties agreed upon a Stipulation of Settlement and Release. The agreement stated that the completion of the settlement would not constitute an admission of liability or wrongdoing on the defendant's part and that when settled, the case would be dismissed on the merits with prejudice as to the defendant. The settlement included the following terms and conditions:

  • that the conditional class certification be granted for purposes of the settlement only
  • that starting on January 1, 2011, the defendant's health insurance plan will offer coverage to pharmacy-filled prescription contraceptives, but will exclude all other contraceptives not specifically identified and authorized that require medical intervention (this coverage will remain in place for at least 3 years, but is subject to periodic plan changes and revisions).
  • The settlement stated that the defendant will be responsible for the costs of notice and attorney fees if the combined total is not in excess of $1,000,000 (class counsel will settle the division of these attorneys' fees and costs amongst themselves), and the defendant will provide a $10,000 incentive award to the named plaintiff for serving as the class representative.


A few days after reaching the settlement, the court certified plaintiffs' class for settlement purposes only and granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement. On September 30, 2009, the court granted final approval of the settlement. The court awarded $1,000,000 for reasonable attorneys' fees and costs and granted the $10,000 incentive award for the named plaintiff.

Alice Liu - 10/18/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Preliminary relief granted
Reasonable Accommodation
Defendant-type
Transportation
Discrimination-area
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Pregnancy discrimination
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) American Airlines, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are current female employees of American Airlines who are or were eligible for benefits and are covered or have been covered under American Airlines' heath insurance plan between February 18, 2003 and September 30, 2009.
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 Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2009 - 2011
Case Closing Year 2009
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)
3:04−cv−00814 (M.D. Tenn.) 09/30/2009
EE-TN-0148-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification 11/16/2006
EE-TN-0148-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Class Certification 11/16/2006
EE-TN-0148-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Class Action Complaint 06/10/2009
EE-TN-0148-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Proposed Settlement 07/07/2009
EE-TN-0148-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Proposed Settlement 07/10/2009 (M.D. Tenn.)
EE-TN-0148-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement 07/17/2009
EE-TN-0148-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Judgment Granting Final Approval of Settlement 09/30/2009 (M.D. Tenn.)
EE-TN-0148-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion for Attorneys' Fees 09/30/2009 (M.D. Tenn.)
EE-TN-0148-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Bryant, John S. (M.D. Tenn.) [Magistrate]
EE-TN-0148-0008 | EE-TN-0148-9000
Nixon, John Trice (M.D. Tenn.)
EE-TN-0148-0004 | EE-TN-0148-0006 | EE-TN-0148-0007 | EE-TN-0148-0008 | EE-TN-0148-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ball, Gordon (Tennessee)
EE-TN-0148-0002 | EE-TN-0148-0003 | EE-TN-0148-0005 | EE-TN-0148-9000
Green, Llezlie Lloren (New York)
EE-TN-0148-9000
Hausfeld, Michael D. (District of Columbia)
EE-TN-0148-0001 | EE-TN-0148-0002 | EE-TN-0148-0003 | EE-TN-0148-0005 | EE-TN-0148-9000
Mann, Ted L. (District of Columbia)
EE-TN-0148-0001 | EE-TN-0148-0002 | EE-TN-0148-0003 | EE-TN-0148-0005 | EE-TN-0148-9000
Nugent, Victoria S. (District of Columbia)
EE-TN-0148-0001 | EE-TN-0148-0002 | EE-TN-0148-9000
Potter, Robert (Alabama)
EE-TN-0148-0001 | EE-TN-0148-0002 | EE-TN-0148-0003 | EE-TN-0148-0005 | EE-TN-0148-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Crenshaw, Waverly David Jr. (Tennessee)
EE-TN-0148-9000
Graham, Stanley E. (Tennessee)
EE-TN-0148-9000
Hensley, Melissa M. (Texas)
EE-TN-0148-9000
Johnson, Weyman T. Jr. (Georgia)
EE-TN-0148-9000
Manthey, Ronald E. (Texas)
EE-TN-0148-9000
Turner, Eva W. (Texas)
EE-TN-0148-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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